The Orange County Sheriff's Department has put an end to its controversial
practice of holding certain inmates beyond their release dates for immigration
authorities, after the practice was deemed unconstitutional in a federal
Along with other law enforcement agencies across the U.S., the Orange County
Sheriff's Department will no longer carry out 48-hour holds beyond
potentially deportable inmates' jail terms so immigration authorities
can intervene and take them into custody. Instead, the department is now
calling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to alert federal agents
when inmates are set to be released, which would give ICE the opportunity
to pick up the inmates as they were leaving jail.
The federal court ruling that spurred this change came from an Oregon appeals
court, which held that a local jail had violated the Fourth Amendment
by holding inmates without probable cause or a court-approved warrant.
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the federal court
ruling did not find it illegal to give inmates over to ICE custody, only
to hold them beyond their release dates. That is why the department has
chosen to still inform ICE of potentially deportable inmates prior to
their release, as opposed to holding them longer than would be constitutional
in accordance with the Oregon federal appeals court ruling.
A total of 140 counties, municipalities and others have changed their immigration
hold practices since last month's federal court ruling, and many others
continue to follow suit, according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
in San Francisco.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department also announced earlier this
month that it would no longer hold inmates who had yet to be sentenced,
for ICE. Further, the Orange County Probation Department modified its
policy and will no longer hold minors solely on immigration detainers.
Deportation and Criminal Proceedings
When a person is living and working in the United States without a valid
visa, green card or citizenship, he or she may face deportation. A criminal
arrest may spur such deportation, as evidenced by the Orange County Sheriff's
Department's practice of reporting illegal immigrants to ICE.
Even immigrants who are legally living and working in the U.S. may face
deportation if they are convicted of certain crimes. Even green card holders,
people with valid visas and refugees who have been granted asylum may
be deported if they are convicted of committing such crimes as:
Assault with a deadly weapon
- Marijuana cultivation
Grand theft/grand theft auto
- Possession of a controlled substance for sale
- Repeated felony DUI offenses
- Drug trafficking
- Theft crimes punishable by more than 1 year in prison
Fraud involving at least $10,000
- Firearms offenses
Challenging these so-called "deportable crimes" is of the utmost
importance if your living in the U.S. is in jeopardy. Only a skilled
criminal defense lawyer will be able to protect your legal rights to the fullest extent, whether
you are considered a legal or illegal immigrant. This recent change in
immigration holds for ICE by the Orange County Sheriff's Department
is a step in the right direction, but defendants and inmates alike still
require legal counsel to avoid violations of their basic rights.
At the Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, we are committed to protecting
the constitutional rights and interests of suspects, arrestees and defendants
in Orange County who are facing misdemeanor and felony criminal charges.
To learn more about our firm and the steps we can take to help you avoid
a conviction and deportation, please call for a confidential consultation.