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ICE Announces New Enforcement Partnership with 17 Florida Sheriffs

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced 17 Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA) with various sheriffs across Florida. The new partnership intends to prevent the release of criminal aliens back into the community.

Under the Trump Administration, ICE has made enhancing public safety a high priority. Efforts to arrest and remove criminal aliens from the United States have been ramped up all across the country. However, when an immigrant is arrested for a local criminal charge, they are often released before ICE has the opportunity to get them from local jails.

State and local law enforcement who have partnered with ICE have been challenged in court for facilitating the secure and orderly custodial transfer of criminal aliens for deportation. According to Thomas Homan, Deputy Director of ICE, “This process will result in fewer criminal aliens released to the street. It’s as simple as that. The stronger our partnerships are with local law enforcement, the better we can execute ICE’s public safety mission and protect our communities.”

After recognizing these challenges, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) collaborated with ICE to create a new process which will clarify that aliens held by these jurisdictions are kept under the color of federal authority. This will provide local law enforcement with liability protection from potential litigation that might result from performing their public safety duties.

Celebrating the new partnership, MCSA Treasurer and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, “Today’s announcement is about public safety – period. For years, sheriffs have had to choose between releasing criminal illegal aliens from their jails back into the community, or exposing themselves to potential civil liability. Both choices are unacceptable and that is why the Basic Ordering Agreement model being unveiled today is the linchpin in allowing us to faithfully execute our public safety duties,”

A BOA is a procurement tool used to acquire a substantial, but presently unknown, quantity of supplies or services. It is a set of terms negotiated between an agency and a service provider and contains a description of the services to be provided, applicable terms for a future order between the parties, and a method for pricing, issuing, and delivering on future orders.

NSA CEO and Executive Director, Jonathan Thompson, claims that the new agreement “makes our communities, neighborhoods – and our nation – safer. Suffering will be reduced, and lives will be saved. The immigration detainer issue has been difficult and challenging. Under this new process, sheriffs holding illegal criminal aliens in their jails and prisons are afforded liability protection from potential litigation when faithfully executing public safety duties. America’s more than 3,000 Sheriffs across the nation are grateful to the administration, Department of Homeland Security, and the superior leadership of Deputy Director Homan, for listening and working with us to advance and implement this commonsense solution.”

The participating jurisdictions will be considered service providers and will house detainees upon ICE’s issuance and their acceptance of Form I-203 (Order to Detain or Release Alien, accompanied by either:

  • Form I-247A (Immigration Detainer – Notice of Action)
  • Form I-200 (Warrant for Arrest of Alien)
  • Form I-205 (Warrant of Removal)

Under applicable regulations, ICE would reimburse the service provider for up to 48 hours of detention for any order placed under the BOA.

Although ICE will be instituting the BOA process with a small number of partner jurisdictions, it plans to slowly expand implementation with willing law enforcement partners over the coming year. County sheriffs who will be participating include: Pinellas, Lee, Manatee, Bay, Walton, Hernando, Brevard, Polk, Indian River, Charlotte, Monroe, Sarasota, Columbia, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Hillsborough and Pasco.

Have you or a loved one been detained by ICE? We can help. Contact our Clearwater immigration attorneys to schedule a consultation today.

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