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American Civil Liberties Union
August 12, 2014

ACLU-NJ Applauds Union County for First Countywide Policy in NJ Declining Immigration Detainer Requests

NEWARK – Union County has become the first New Jersey county to formally adopt a policy declining to hold individuals in its jail based on requests issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The move comes in response to a July 15, 2014, request from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ). ICE routinely issues requests to jails and law enforcement agencies to hold people detained in their facilities for up to 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) longer than they would otherwise be released because of suspected civil immigration offenses. Until recently, all New Jersey’s county jails routinely honored those requests although they are not legally binding. Union County’s new practice, in effect as of August 4, 2014, requires the Union County Department of Corrections to release individuals on their scheduled release date unless county officials receive a warrant, court order or other legally sufficient proof of probable cause from ICE. According to ICE data reported by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, between October 2011 and August 2013, Union County received at least 326 detainer requests, sixty percent of which were aimed at individuals who had not been convicted of any criminal offense.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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