ICE proposal likely unethical, violation of individuals’ civil rights


On October 7th, the ACLU of Kentucky sent a letter to the Prosecutors Advisory Council alerting it to recent efforts by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) to enlist the aid of prosecutors in combating the recent trend of jailers refusing to comply with immigration detainers. Citing an ICE email to local officials obtained through its investigation, the ACLU noted that ICE has requested that prosecutors try to convince judges that, when an immigration detainer has been issued, any orders releasing the individual should include language that prevents the jail from releasing the person except to the custody of ICE agents.

The ACLU’s letter notes that recent court decisions make clear that immigration detainers provide no independent legal authority upon which an individual may be detained. And it argues that conditioning individuals’ release from custody on the condition that they be released only into ICE’s custody has “obvious and alarming implications for individuals’ civil liberties.”

In commenting on today’s letter, ACLU of Ky. Executive Director Michael Aldridge stated, “We hope the Prosecutors Advisory Council, which includes as its chair Attorney General Jack Conway, will recognize that this ICE-initiated approach seeks to accomplish what we believe is an unlawful objective through unethical means.” He added, “We hope the Council will, at its upcoming meeting on October 16th, formally and publicly reject this ICE initiative and recommend to all of Kentucky’s prosecutors to follow suit.”