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November 16, 2018

Local police officers in New York State require a warrant to arrest an immigrant solely to transfer custody to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities


Local police officers in New York State require a warrant to arrest an immigrant solely to transfer custody to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities
People ex rel. Wells v DeMarco, 2018 NY Slip Op 07740, Appellate Division, Second Department

Susai Francis, an Indian national living on Long Island, had overstayed his visa. Arrested for driving under the influence [DUI] in Nassau County, he was transferred to Suffolk County to complete a criminal proceeding. Francis plead guilty to disorderly conduct to dispose of the criminal charge and was sentenced to "time served." Suffolk County police rearrested Francis at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] and incarcerated in a jail cell in Riverhead rented by ICE.

The Appellate Division ruled that Suffolk police went beyond their authority in violation of State Law when it honored  ICE's request to hold someone as "local law enforcement officers are not authorized to effectuate arrests for civil law immigration violations."

In contrast, said the Appellate Division, local police could do so if ICE produced a warrant "signed by a judge."

The decision is posted on the Internet at: