Texas Urges Federal Judge to Declare Immigration 'Detainers' to be Legal

The State of Texas will ask a federal judge to use a lawsuit filed against the Dallas County Sheriff in 2015 to declare that 'detainers' of Texas jail inmates are legal, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

lawsuit, which is before a federal judge in Dallas, was filed by 23 immigrant rights groups, alleging that 'detainers' violate the civil rights of the covered individuals because they are held after completing their sentence, or held when other people who were arrested for similar offenses have been released.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says with questions raging about the legality of so called 'Sanctuary City' policy, it is important to stress the legality of the 'ongoing cooperation' between ICE and local law enforcement to 'protect Texas communities.

'"Governments throughout Texas have a duty under Texas law, and cooperative agreements with the federal government, to hold undocumented and suspected criminal aliens pursuant to ICE detainers," Paxton said.  "This is a public safety issue.  If a Texas sheriff cannot lawfully honor an ICE detainer, dangerous people may slip throug the cracks of the justice system and back into the community."

A 'detainer' is a request from immigration enforcement officials for a county jail to hold an inmate so federal immigration officials can process the individual for possible deportation.

The detainer policy has become controversial after the Travis County Sheriff said she would only honor 'detainers' in the case of people charged with violent felonies, and pointed out that 'detainer requests' are not legally binding.


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