Judge blocks sole use of databases to detain immigrants
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge Friday blocked Immigration and Customs Enforcement from relying solely on flawed databases to target people for being in the country illegally, the Los Angeles Times reported.
U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birrote Jr. issued a permanent injunction barring ICE from relying only on the databases when issuing detainers, which are requests made to police agencies to keep people who have been arrested in custody for up two days beyond the time they would otherwise be held, the Times reported.
The judge’s ruling in a class-action lawsuit also blocks ICE from issuing detainers to state and local law enforcement in states where there isn’t a statute authorizing civil immigration arrests on detainers, the Times reports.
The decision affects detainers issued by an ICE officer in the federal court system’s Central District of California.
The civil case has implications for President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration as the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups sought to upend how immigration officers target people for being in the country illegally, the Times reported.
“I think the decision is a tremendous blow to ICE’s Secure Communities deportation program and to Trump’s effort to use police throughout the country to further his deportation programs,” Jessica Bansal, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California, told the newspaper.
ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Times.
The lawsuit, which represents broad categories of people who have been or will be subjected to detainers, said the databases that agents consult are so badly flawed by incomplete and inaccurate information that ICE officers should not be allowed to rely on them as the sole basis for keeping someone in custody.
The judge agreed with that assessment, finding that the databases often contained “incomplete data, significant errors, or were not designed to provide information that would be used to determine a person’s removability.”