Oregon judge rules that regional correction center can’t notify ICE of inmate releases but can house ICE detainees

by DCG

Oregon demorats continue to provide illegal alien criminals with protection via their sanctuary state law. See the following examples:

Sanctuary Oregon: ICE put hold months ago on illegal alien now accused of killing his wife

Sanctuary Oregon: Young couple killed on motorcycle by drunk illegal alien

Sanctuary Oregon: Illegal alien who was previously deported accused of nail gun rampage

This latest ruling still provides certain protections for those illegally in our country.

From Oregon LiveA Wasco County judge ruled Friday that two immigration enforcement practices at the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Center violate the state’s sanctuary law but upheld the jail’s contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The jail in The Dalles houses inmates for Wasco, Hood River, Sherman and Gilliam counties. But under an interagency agreement reached in 1999, it also has housed people detained by ICE on illegal immigration allegations.

Wasco County Circuit Judge John Wolf found that the regional jail’s past policy of notifying ICE agents of scheduled releases of inmates in state or local criminal cases violated Oregon law that prohibits using state resources to solely detain someone based on an alleged immigration violation. The judge also ruled the jail can’t hold inmates for ICE beyond the time that they would face for their criminal charge.

Yet the judge didn’t nullify the regional jail’s contract with the federal immigration enforcement agency.

The jail’s contract “to accept and provide for secure custody’’ of federal detainees didn’t violate state law, Wolf ruled. The judge considered the “ordinary meaning’’ of the word “apprehending’’ from the state sanctuary law to mean arresting or seizing someone, not holding someone in jail.

Wolf’s ruling means ICE will still be able to house at the regional jail people it detains for alleged immigration violations who are awaiting transportation to prison or a hearing on their immigration status or deportation.

The plaintiffs — Wasco County taxpayers who filed the lawsuit in 2017 — and the regional jail each declared a win.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision that NORCOR is violating Oregon law in some respects, but disappointed by the court’s decision with respect to the ICE contract,’’ said attorney Erin M. Pettigrew of Innovation Law Lab. “It was a mixed bag for both parties.’’

Attorney Derek Ashton, who represents the regional jail, said he was pleased with the decision upholding the jail’s contract with ICE. “The contract at issue is critical to NORCOR’s budget and operations and eases a tax burden on the people of Wasco, Hood River, Sherman and Gilliam counties,” he said in a statement. “Today’s decision ensures that critical funding source will remain in place.”

The plaintiffs had alleged misuse of tax revenues for immigration enforcement. They established it costs $97 a day to house an inmate at the jail, and ICE reimburses the jail $80 an inmate.

As the suit was pending, the regional jail changed its policy in April.

Before then, NORCOR would notify ICE when a state or local inmate was scheduled for release on bail, on their own recognizance or after completing a sentence. ICE would then ask the jail through a paper form to detain the inmate longer on a federal hold. ICE would pay NORCOR to house the inmates once the “paper transfer’’ was done.

But the judge said that the form wasn’t an arrest warrant, didn’t show any show probable cause and wasn’t signed by a judge. “When a state or local inmate is no longer subject to custody on those charges, NORCOR does not have authority to maintain custody and must release the inmate,” Wolf ruled.

Since April, the jail has informed ICE of an inmate’s date of release, and if federal agents are present at the jail they may arrest the person in the lobby or the person is free to leave. A released inmate arrested by ICE in the lobby may be turned back to NORCOR to be held under the interagency agreement.

The judge’s ruled Friday, however, that any release notification by the jail to the federal agency violated the state’s sanctuary law.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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