Judge slaps ICE with ruling on holding of illegal aliens

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Despite officials’ decision to discontinue the “sanctuary city” policies of Florida’s Miami-Dade County and honor the requests of ICE to hold illegal aliens for possible deportation, Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled on Friday that detaining arrested immigrants for ICE is unconstitutional.

According to his order, the judge ruled that “ICE holds on county inmates violate ‘the separation of powers between the state and federal governments…(and) the Constitution of the United States….The Federal government is without power to compel state authorities to house… Federal prisoners.'”

Attorney Louis Reizenstein told CBS Miami reporters that the judge’s opinion was, “A great win for the Constitution.” He said, “It’s a great win for individual rights, and it’s a judge who’s courageous enough not to be intimidated by the president of the United States.”

However, the county does plan to appeal the decision, so what effect the ruling will have on illegal immigrants who are arrested by police is still unclear.

The judge’s decision comes the day after attorneys for a detained immigrant battled in court over the decision of Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s and the county’s commissioners to “honor ICE requests and hold arrested immigrants beyond the time they would otherwise be released,” noting that county officials cooperated with the president’s executive order so as not to lose federal funding.

Related News: Judge allegedly helps illegal immigrant escape ICE

Since then, ICE detentions of jailed inmates, in which they must wait for a longer period of time in prison before ICE can come and retrieve them, have caused “huge controversy and protest.”

The county has an agreement with the feds in which they hold individuals for 48 hours while ICE coordinates its efforts to pick them up, according to County Attorney Michael Valdes.

“There is no authority for states to hold individuals under a federal detainer request when their case is closed,” Reizenstein said as he argued for Haitian James Lacroix, who was arrested for repeatedly driving without a license.

Reizenstein stated that 48 hours is an unconstitutionally long time for someone to sit in jail. He further observed that the county has “caved in” to what he considers to be federal strong-arm tactics. “This is nothing more than the federal government threatening and blackmailing states and Miami-Dade County,” said Reizenstein.

The county’s detention policy is the only issue which was ruled on by the judge on Friday. According to the report, “The judge did not directly order the county to stop the practice of detaining immigrants for ICE. The county is going to continue that practice as the ruling is appealed.”

H/T: CBS Miami

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