It has been a tough few years for the law enforcement community. Not only do men and women in uniform put their lives at risk to uphold the law, but they also face unprecedented hostility from the communities they serve.
In Virginia, the Legal Aid Justice Center has filed a class-action lawsuit against Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins (R) for cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on detainer requests. The lawsuit, filed on Sept. 10, asks a federal judge to declare the policy of holding illegal aliens in custody on an ICE detainer unlawful. It also seeks punitive damages for its clients, citing that they were subject to “severe and irreparable distress” under the sheriff’s detainer policy.
Predictably, this lawsuit comes despite recent court decisions finding that detainers are constitutional. On September 17, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee reversed its earlier decision that found detaining Abdullah Abriq pending deportation did not violate his constitutional rights. The court further held that local officers were entitled to rely on federal authorities’ civil probable cause determination that the alien plaintiff, in this case, was present in the United States unlawfully. The Middle District of Tennessee decision was in accordance with a previous Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. That ruling confirmed that law enforcement could comply with, honor and fulfill detainer requests because the state and local law enforcement officers are not making any independent decisions about detaining someone but acting only when ICE has made the underlying removability determination.
This lawsuit is yet another attempt to assail the character and integrity of the law enforcement community for cooperating with federal immigration authorities and helping to thwart illegal immigration. It reaffirms that the true aim of the mass immigration lobby is to protect the interests of illegal aliens over those of American citizens.