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Thursday, January 20, 2022
<p>In this Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, file photo, a Border Patrol agent stands inside one of the holding areas at the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.</p>

In this Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, file photo, a Border Patrol agent stands inside one of the holding areas at the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.

Alachua County is the only county in Florida singled out for failing to comply with federal requests to detain non-native arrestees after the release of a Department of Homeland Security report.

While the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office cannot enforce immigration laws, jail personnel are asked to notify the department when someone arrested on local charges was not born in the U.S. and detain them for about 48 hours until Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have reviewed his or her case for deportation.

But Sheriff Sadie Darnell decided that while deputies and jail personnel will notify ICE about any arrests, the office will not hold the arrestee until ICE arrives.

“We are doing nothing different than the other law enforcement agencies that are set forth in place by the courts, and they have all found that holding someone after they’ve satisfied the court is illegal,” ACSO spokesperson Art Forgey said. “It’s illegal search and seizure.”

As a result of Darnell’s decision, Alachua County was the only Florida county listed on the ICE’s first Declined Detainer Outcome Report for the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, with five declined detainer requests.

The purpose of the report is “to highlight jurisdictions that choose not to cooperate with ICE detainers or requests for notification,” according to an ICE news release. The report is made public as part of President Donald Trump’s public safety executive order.

The detainer serves as a request from ICE to detain the person in question, and there is no legal penalty if local law enforcement does not agree with the detainer.

For the reported week, Alachua County was at the bottom of the list, tied with Franklin County, Iowa, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, with five. Clark County, Nevada, had the most, with 51 denied detainers.

The ICE report noted that because of the counties’ individual polices, they expect all detainers to be denied but will continue to issue the detainers regardless.

Alachua County’s policy has been in place since September 2015, and it leaves the decision up to the sheriff currently in office.

Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe said he is in full support of Darnell’s decision.

“What the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office is doing is following the constitution and the law,” Poe said. “She (Darnell) made it pretty clear that to hold people beyond the 48 hours that is due under habeas corpus is a violation of people’s Fourth Amendment rights.”

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Gainesville Police spokesperson Officer Ben Tobias wrote in an email that city police will not focus on immigration status when making local arrests. Local officers will only make arrests on behalf of ICE if issued a criminal warrant.

“The Gainesville Police Department has not participated in nor are we aware of any type of ‘raid’ to seek out and take into custody individuals solely based on their immigration status,” Tobias wrote.

Contact Molly Vossler at mvossler@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @molly_vossler 

 

In this Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, file photo, a Border Patrol agent stands inside one of the holding areas at the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.

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