Illegal immigrants who get pulled over by police for traffic-related offenses will be set free if a proposed change in Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy is approved.
The proposal has come under fire by county sheriffs near the Arizona-Mexico border — including some who spoke out against SB 1070, the controversial Arizona law that directs law enforcement officials to question people they suspect are in the country illegally. A federal judge has effectively put that law on hold, pending resolution in federal court of the Department of Justice’s claim that it is unconstitutional.
The proposed changes in ICE policy state:
“Immigration officers should not issue detainers against an alien charged only with a traffic-related misdemeanor unless or until the alien is convicted.”
The ICE proposal would prevent law enforcement officers from reporting illegal immigrants identified during the course of a traffic-related stop or arrest to federal authorities unless:
— they are a convicted felon;
— they are wanted for a felony;
— they are part of an existing investigation;
— they were involved in an accident involving drugs or alcohol, or they fled the scene.
The draft proposal was posted on ICE’s website last month with a request for public comment. They will consider comments on the proposal from anyone who submits them and agency officials will reconvene at a future time to discuss the suggestions.
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