ICE Circumventing Sanctuary Policies 

In today’s contentious political climate, one might mistakenly believe that lacking proper documentation equates one with criminality. However, being an undocumented immigrant does not make one a criminal. According to the law, all individuals on U.S. soil have a right to due process.

Due process ensures that the government respects individuals’ rights and civil liberties. Individuals on U.S. soil can avail themselves of all legal rights in a courtroom to a fair proceeding before a neutral arbiter or judge. Further, U.S. courts have held that unauthorized immigrants have the right to contest and appeal deportation decisions.

Rules on Detainment

Undocumented immigrants should not be under threat of deportation in the event of a traffic infraction or on the steps of a courthouse when living in a sanctuary city. Many sanctuary policies prohibit police departments, courts and other government agencies from sharing information on undocumented foreign nationals. Family members of individuals detained or placed under an immigration hold by police officers should contact a Philadelphia immigration lawyer immediately.

Police officers can only detain individuals if they suspect them of a crime. If the individual is then cleared of the crime, the police officer must release that person immediately. U.S. Immigration and Custom (ICE) agents often ask police officers to detain individuals for extra time, even when there is no basis for such a charge. Sanctuary cities have laws prohibiting such detainment. However, some police officers have been detaining undocumented individuals even after realizing that they cannot continue charges, holding them until they are picked up by ICE agents, thus circumventing sanctuary policies.

Sharing of Private Information

In a sanctuary city, police are prohibited from sharing information regarding the individual’s immigration status. However, in many such cities police officers and other government employees are allowing ICE agents access to this information. They are informally tipping off ICE agents or allowing them access to their databases. This violates civil liberty, privacy and due process laws.

Recently, it was reported by the ACLU that ICE agents were using mass location surveillance data to capture undocumented individuals. Use of such data violates privacy laws and sanctuary policies of that state. Even local law enforcement agencies have been found to share license plate and driver’s license information violating local laws.

Many argue that ICE agents are being encouraged to make friendships with local police and detectives to informally request and gain access to private information of individuals. Such informal means of gaining access ironically violates ICE internal policies of recording and justifying access to such information.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Fight for Clients’ Right to Due Process

The Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can stop your deportation proceeding and or appeal it and fight for you so that you or your loved ones are treated fairly. Our office can assist you in preventing removal from the U.S. and defend you from ICE’s use of illegal tactics. Because the process of removal and deportation can be unpredictable, act quickly and contact us online or call 215-925-4435 so that we can start to evaluate your case immediately. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, and we serve clients in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation.