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Las Vegas police to no longer detain people on federal immigration holds, will suspend ICE program

Decision follows court ruling
Posted at 9:22 AM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 11:22:01-04

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is suspending its 287(g) program and will no longer detain people on federal immigration holds. However, it will continue to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove violent criminals without legal status.

The Central District for California ruled Sept. 27 that ICE is enjoined from issuing detainers to state and local law enforcement agencies in states where there is no explicit statute authorizing civil immigration arrests on detainers.

ICE was also enjoined from issuing detainers based on probable cause when the investigation of immigration status and removability consists of only a database search.

Since Nevada is one of the states that does not have a statute authorizing an arrest for civil immigration violations, LVMPD decided it will no longer honor federal immigration detainers.

LVMPD notified ICE on Oct. 22 that it was suspending their agreement with ICE.

The court's decision will most likely be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“I am optimistic that this change will not hinder LVMPD’s ability to fight violent crime,” said LVMPD Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. “While the ruling can be seen as a setback, I am determined that through cooperation with our federal partners, the goal of removing the worst of the worst can still be accomplished.”

The ACLU of Nevada have issued the following statements:

"This is the right decision for the state's largest law enforcement agency. It's not just inappropriate for Nevada agencies to participate in the federal government's deportation agenda, but it's unconstitutional as well. We'll continue to advocate for the rights of our immigrant communities, and will engage with other police agencies around the state to end their partnerships with ICE, " said ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Tod Story.

“The ACLU of Nevada has been working with other organizations to achieve this result for a long time. In a follow-up letter recently sent to Sheriff Lombardo, we called on him to end this unlawful practice within ten days. We are grateful that he made the choice to put the people of southern Nevada first and to protect their constitutional rights,” said Sherrie Royster, the legal director for ACLU of Nevada.

This story was originally published on KTNV.