Court Curbs Immigration Detainers

In IMMIGRATION -- articles only, Judiciary and Courts On

BOSTON — The highest state court in Massachusetts ruled on Monday that court officers do not have the authority, under state law, to hold people in custody based solely on the requests from federal immigration authorities known as civil detainers.

The ruling, which came amid a continuing clash between the Trump administration and some cities and states over immigration enforcement, was immediately claimed as a victory by the state attorney general’s office and immigration advocates. They maintained that it applied to a wide range of law enforcement officials in Massachusetts.

“Anybody who has the ability to arrest a person will be bound by this decision,” said Laura Rótolo, staff counsel and community advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. She said the decision was the first ruling by a state’s high court on the question of whether state or local authorities can detain individuals based only on a request by federal immigration authorities.

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