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Lane County Will No Longer Hold Inmates For Federal Immigration Officials

Lane County

After a court decision earlier this month, Lane County has changed its policy on holding inmates at the request of federal immigration officials.

According to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, requests to hold, or detainers, are used to “identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens” that were taken into local custody.  ICE asks for holds up to 48 hours. This policy has been widely criticized by immigrant rights groups.  

Earlier this month, a federal judge in Oregon ruled that ICE detainer holds amounted to a violation of an inmate’s 4th Amendment rights.  This has prompted many Oregon counties to change their policies.  Now Lane County has joined the list.

Previously, according to Lane County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Carrie Carver, the Sheriff would inform ICE about a detainer after all local charges had been resolved.

Carver: “We’ve, in the past, done a courtesy hold up to 4 hours to give ICE time to come and pick that person up.  Sometimes they want to, and sometimes they don’t.”

Carver estimates ICE would pick up between 50 and 60 inmates a year.  Now the Lane County Jail will not hold inmates any additional time, but Carver says they will still inform ICE when they have someone under detainer in custody.

Carver: “I suspect that conversations will probably occur about when that notification will happen now.  And that will have to be something that every agency sort of looks at.”

According to the Portland-based Immigrant Law Group, 16 other counties including Deschutes and Lincoln, as well as the Springfield Police Department, no longer hold people under ICE detainer.  

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