Pinellas Sheriff, Feds Announce Changes to Controversial Immigrant Detention Policy
Seventeen Florida counties have already opted in. Alachua County is not one of them.
LARGO — For years, county sheriffs in the United States have faced a quandary when asked by federal officials to hold undocumented immigrants in their local jails.
They could continue to hold them for up to two days past the time they were legally free to leave, giving U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcements officers time to pick them up. But that would open the sheriffs to civil rights lawsuits.
They could release the detainee before ICE arrived. But that risked putting someone in the country illegally back on the streets.
On Wednesday, a top federal immigration official stood alongside Tampa Bay area sheriffs to announce what he said is a workaround for sheriffs who want to cooperate with ICE.
The new protocol calls for ICE to send a booking form that transfers custody of the detainees from the local jail to federal immigration authorities, said ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan. Continue reading at tampabay.com.
Related article: ICE and Florida sheriffs to make public safety announcement.