Both of the Wisconsin State versions of the latest anti-sanctuary legislative bills AB190/SB275 submitted to committees by GOP legislators seemed to force law enforcement in the state to comply with illegal federal ICE detainer requests.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
June 27, 2017
Madison, WI – It seems that Wisconsin Republican legislators in control in both the State Assembly and Senate have failed to confirm that federal ICE detainer requests are not legal binding, but instead are forcing law enforcement agencies and county sheriffs to comply with such ICE detainer requests under two bills AB190/SB275 known as anti-sanctuary bills. According to the text in both bills, “The bill also requires a political subdivision to comply with a lawful detainer that is issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and authorizes the attorney general or the appropriate district attorney or sheriff to file a writ of mandamus with the circuit court to require compliance with the requirements created by the bill if he or she believes that the political subdivision is failing to comply with the requirements.”
According to the ACLU-Pennsylvania in 2014, “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that states and localities are not required to imprison people based on “detainer” requests from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ICE, recognizing that states and localities may share liability when they participate in wrongful immigration detentions. The ruling in Galarza v. Szalczyk, et al., stems from Lehigh County Prison’s wrongful detention of Ernesto Galarza, a U.S. citizen, who despite posting bail and telling his jailers that he was born in New Jersey was held in jail for three days because of an ICE detainer that stated only that ICE was investigating his immigration status…A growing number of states and localities, including California, Connecticut, New York City, Newark, Cook County, New Orleans, and Washington, DC, have adopted laws or policies limiting their involvement with ICE detainers, or declining to treat them as a basis for detention at all. Although ICE has long characterized its detainers as “requests,” this is the first time a federal appeals court has addressed this precise issue.”
In other ICE detainer rulings, in an Illinois case, “Jimenez Moreno v. Napolitano — that’s currently moving through the courts. In September, U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee ruled that the Department of Homeland Security’s use of detainers exceeded its legal authority and were “void” because “immigration detainers issued under ICE’s detention program seek to detain subjects without a warrant — even in the absence of a determination by ICE that the subjects are likely to escape before a warrant can be obtained.”…the “Mercado v. Dallas County, in which a federal court ruled last year that an ICE detainer didn’t provide probable cause to law enforcement to detain a person because probable cause is an issue relevant to criminal cases, while immigration is a civil matter,” the Texas Tribune dot org reported.
On Wednesday, June 28, hundreds of immigrant workers and their families from six cities including Milwaukee will converge in Madison once again and join supporters in a day of lobbying and protest at the Wisconsin State Capitol to oppose both AB190/SB275. The bills authorize local law enforcement to act like immigration agents. Wisconsin Republicans have introduced the bills, which are a copycat of Texas’ new anti-immigrant law SB4, and very similar to AB450, which the state Senate didn’t take action in February 2016 and expired, according to Voces de la Frontera who staged a major protest in Madison to draw pressure to stall AB450 and succeeded.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit order available at:
More information about Galarza v. Szalczyk is available at: