Shelby County officials arrest suspected illegal immigrants.
If this happened in a lot of other places, the feds would step in and ask the county to detain these suspected illegals for up to 48 hours after their scheduled release. Officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office would then come get them. This is a common thing since U.S. President Donald Trump assumed office.
But not in Shelby County.
County officials, specifically the folks at the county attorney’s office, tell their law enforcement officers to ignore the feds, especially ICE.
They said such requests likely violate the 10th Amendment ban against commandeering of local governments by the feds. Members of the county attorney’s office also say the requests likely violate the Fourth Amendment protection against arrests without probable cause.
Despite this, members of the sheriff’s office have found a loophole. Sheriff’s deputies will release suspected illegal immigrants, but they will notify ICE agents about when, precisely, they’ll release those people.
“Sheriff’s policy adviser Debra Fessenden says ICE is still notified whenever a non-citizen is booked into the jail. The immigration agency is allowed to make arrests at the facility, and can be notified of suspects’ release times,” the paper reported.
Immigration arrests sometimes take place immediately after a suspect gets out of jail, the paper reported.
“The Sheriff’s Office provides notice to ICE that individuals are being released, due to resolution of the case or making bond, but their release is never prolonged in any way to accommodate ICE detainer requests,” the Commercial Appeal quoted Fessenden as saying.
No one in the Shelby County Attorney’s Office would return The Tennessee Star’s repeated requests for comment this week. Specifically, The Star wanted to ask if the edict they handed down to sheriff’s deputies was for legal reasons — or for reasons of politics.
The Commercial Appeal reported ICE has detained 27 people after Shelby County officials released them.
“Before the inauguration of President Trump, immigration law was rarely enforced in non-border areas like Memphis. The government focused most of its deportation efforts in these areas on immigrants who had committed crimes,” the paper said.
In January Tennessee will require law enforcement officers cooperate with all federal immigration authorities, according to the paper.
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