Sheriff changes immigration detention hold policy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This morning, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek announced that the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office will no longer honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees absent judicial authority. These holds pertain to individuals who have already been adjudicated at the state level and are being additionally held based on the suspicion of an individual ICE agent without a judicial review.  

County Attorney Mike Freeman stood beside Sheriff Stanek at the announcement and has provided ongoing legal counsel on this matter as legal advisor to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

Over the past several months the legal landscape has changed dramatically on this issue. First, several court decisions have held that that what appears to be a mandatory requirement to hold individuals subject to an ICE hold is not mandatory, but rather merely a request to a local agency. ICE has also changed its own interpretation of these holds and now considers them to be voluntary requests.

Given these changes, it is prudent to reevaluate past legal advice and current policy regarding honoring ICE detainees. In response to a question, Freeman stated:  “When convenience runs amok of federal constitutional rights, convenience goes by the wayside.”

Freeman and his staff have thoroughly researched the issue and will continue to advise their client on this and other matters.

Read Sheriff Stanek’s statement (PDF)

Read press coverage of the announcement