The highest court in Massachusetts ruled Monday that local law enforcement cannot keep people in custody solely at the request of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The practice, often known as an “ICE detainer,” enabled federal authorities to take a longer look at the immigration status of people whom they suspect might be in the country illegally, even if they were otherwise free to leave.
“This could mean the individual’s charges have been dismissed, they’ve posted bail or their jail sentence has been completed,” Shannon Dooling of member station WBUR explains. “The detainer — which is not the same as an arrest warrant, which requires proof of probable cause and a judge’s signature — gives ICE up to two days to look into a person’s immigration status and potentially pursue deportation.”
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