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Ruling on Immigration Holds Affects Lane County Jail

The Lane County Jail announced on April 21 that it will no longer hold inmates on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers without a warrant or a court order. This is in response to an April 11 federal court ruling that Clackamas County violated a woman’s Fourth Amendment rights by holding her in jail for 19 hours after her case was settled in order to let federal immigration agents begin investigating her residency status. 

Sergeant Carrie Carver of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office says the Lane County Jail’s policy was to hold people for ICE for four hours after local charges were dropped, completed or disposed. “We are not using jail beds for these folks,” she says. If ICE didn’t come within four hours, the people were released. Carver says people were not held solely for ICE; they had to have had local charges. 

Statistics from the Sheriff’s Office show that 133 people were picked up by ICE from the Lane County Jail from January 2012 until March 2014. This does not include the people ICE had on detainer that the agency did not come and pick up. 

In the Clackamas case, U.S. District Court Judge Janice M. Stewart ruled that county officials misinterpreted an ICE request to detain Maria Miranda-Olivares as mandatory. This ruling has now led police and jails throughout the state to reevaluate their ICE holds. Washington, Marion and Polk counties have all stopped the ICE detainers. The Springfield Police Department has temporarily discontinued the detainers as well, pending reviw by the legal department.

Monserrat Alegria was one of several students who presented concerns over immigration holds to Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner and Springfield Police Chief Timothy Doney at a Grupo Latino de Acción Directa (GLAD) meeting in March. Alegria calls the Lane County Jail decision a “first step.” 

Alegria says fears of deportation affect how members of the immigrant community interact with law enforcement. For example, she says victims of domestic violence can be reluctant to seek help or report incidents of intimate partner violence due to fears of deportation for themselves or their partners.

UO students have now formed a group, Community United Against Deportation, to work specifically on the immigration issue and outreach, which is open to all interested members of the community, Alegria says. Those interested in the immigration issue and working with CUAD can contact Paige Corich-Kleim at pcorichk@uoregon.edu.