- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Three Kansas counties say they’ll stop automatically honoring requests from federal immigration officials to detain people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Kansas.

The ACLU of Kansas said in a release that sheriff’s departments in Shawnee, Johnson and Finney counties will require probable cause or a warrant in order to hold people who Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials want detained past their release dates, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1nvuF3G).

Detainers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement are requests that a local jail or law enforcement agency detain an individual for an additional 48 hours after his or her release date to give ICE time to decide whether to take the individual into federal custody and begin deportation proceedings.

The move by the Kansas counties comes after recent court decisions in Oregon and Pennsylvania found that such ICE detainer requests are not commands that local jurisdictions have to honor, and that sheriffs could be liable for constitutional violations for holding people past the time when they would otherwise be released.

The ACLU Foundation of Kansas said it recently sent letters to county sheriffs across Kansas explaining the risks associated with honoring warrantless detention requests from ICE.

Maj. Timothy Phelps, deputy director of administrative and investigative services for the Shawnee County Department of Corrections, said if ICE picks a person up and brings them to the jail, there is an order to hold, and the jail will honor that order.

“It is an indicator they are going to initiate deportation,” Phelps said.

But a request for continued hold “is not grounded in probable cause,” he said.

“We want to cooperate with all of the law enforcement agencies, but we have to have probable cause,” he said.

Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman for ICE, said in a statement Tuesday that ICE will continue to work with Kansas law enforcement as ICE “seeks to enforce its priorities by identifying and removing convicted criminals and others who are public safety threats.”

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com