Washington – Connecticut is hardly mentioned in the Department of Homeland Security’s first list of law enforcement agencies that fail to hold jailed immigrants beyond their release dates for federal authorities.
The DHS report, entitled the “Declined Detainer Outcome Report” listed 206 cases of immigrants released from custody from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 despite federal agents’ requests, called “detainers,” to keep them locked up so the federal government could take them into custody.
Nearly a third were from Travis County, Texas — none were from Connecticut.
But DHS did list Hartford and East Haven in its “Table of Jurisdictions That Have Enacted Policies Which Limit Cooperation with ICE,” or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
It said East Haven “will not honor ICE detainers” and Hartford “will not arrest or detain a person based solely on their immigration status unless there’s a criminal warrant.”
Dozens of other cities, large and small, and counties also were listed, including Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago and Newark, N.J.
The DHS report said its list of jurisdictions that limit cooperation with ICE was created through “public announcements, news report statements, publicly disclosed policies and/or information given directly to ICE personnel in the field.”
“As such there may be other non-cooperative jurisdictions not contained in this section of the document,” the report said.
The release of the list by Immigration and Customs Enforcement was prompted by an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in January. That order called on the government to document which local jurisdictions aren’t cooperating with federal efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally. The executive order said federal funding — most likely policing grants — would be withheld from jurisdictions that did not comply with ICE detainers.
Immigrant advocates say it’s unconstitutional for local law enforcement authorities to detain someone for federal deportation proceedings when the judge in their criminal case has ordered them released.
But Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said, “When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission.”
DHS said it would release a detainer report every week.
Connecticut law enforcement agencies may not be on most of them
A Connecticut Mirror analysis of ICE detainer information found that correction and law enforcement officials in Connecticut declined only 48 ICE detainers between Jan. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015.