Sheriff Gary Wilson said he was prompted to issue the new order by
recent court rulings that determined requests by U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials for the holds amounted to
potential constitutional violations.
"This change in policy is effective immediately based upon the
changing legal landscape," Wilson said in a statement.
So-called "ICE detainers" ask that local police agencies hold a
person for 48 hours beyond their release date, a practice that has
long been opposed by civil libertarians who say they violate due
The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement that more
than 30 jurisdictions across the United States have abandoned
honoring ICE holds after three courts ruled this year that the
requests are voluntary, and local authorities could be liable for
Additionally, the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco
no longer hold low-level offenders in their lockups on ICE
detainers, the ACLU said.
In a memo to his command staff, Wilson spelled out Denver's new
policy, saying any such request by ICE would be denied in the
absence of "proper legal documents."
"All persons who are in our custody who currently have a 48-hour ICE
hold that is not accompanied by a criminal warrant or some other
form that gives … legal authority to hold that person shall be
dropped," the memo said.
[to top of second column]
On Monday, the ACLU's Colorado chapter sent letters to all of the
state's 64 sheriffs, asking them to review their policies in light
of the recent court decisions.
So far, seven counties have agreed to halt the practice, said Mark
Silverstein, the ACLU's public policy director.
ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said in a statement that the agency "will
continue to work cooperatively with law enforcement partners
throughout Colorado as the agency seeks to enforce its priorities by
identifying and removing convicted criminals and others who are
public safety threats."
(Editing by Ken Wills)
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