CT Revises Policy on Detaining Undocumented Immigrants for ICE


Fewer undocumented immigrants in Connecticut will be handed over automatically to federal authorities in the wake of a court ruling in the case of Brizuela v. Feliciano.
The New Haven Independent reports Brizuela, a 33-year-old East Haven man originally from Argentina, sued Whalley Avenue jail Warden Jose Feliciano and Department of Correction Commissioner Leo Arnone after he was held on an “immigration detainer” request from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) in February 2012.
The new policy requires DOC staff to fill out a checklist when they receive an immigration detainer request from ICE. If the person in question does not meet the criteria on the list—he is already subject to removal, he’s a gang member or in an anti-terrorism database, he’s been convicted of a felony—he is released.
The article also included a response from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): “Overall, in fiscal year (FY) 2012, ICE removed 409,849 individuals nationwide. Of these, approximately 55 percent, or 225,390 of the people removed, were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors – almost double the removal of criminals in FY 2008. This includes 1,215 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,557 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 40,448 aliens convicted for crimes involving drugs; and 36,166 aliens convicted for driving under the influence. …
“To further focus ICE resources on the most serious criminal offenders, the agency issued new national detainer guidance in December 2012. This guidance limits the use of detainers to individuals who meet the department’s enforcement priorities and restricts the use of detainers against individuals arrested for minor misdemeanor offenses such as traffic offenses and other petty crimes, helping to ensure that available resources are focused on apprehending felons, repeat offenders and other ICE priorities. It is applicable to all ICE enforcement programs nationwide.”