Judge rules El Paso County can't hold undocumented immigrants if they post bond
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office will continue fighting to be able to hold undocumented immigrants in jail for immigration enforcement.
The El Paso County Court issued a permanent injunction on December 6th, 2018 prohibiting El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder's office from detaining undocumented immigrants at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) even after individuals have posted bond. The sheriff's office had an agreement to house inmates for ICE when requested. The jail has not held undocumented immigrants for ICE since March. They stopped because of an injunction from an ACLU lawsuit.
"We call on ICE to stop their campaign of misinformation with Colorado Sheriffs. As a federal agency, ICE should be standing to help our local jurisdictions protect our nation's constitution, not attempting to bully our local sheriffs into holding people and notifying ICE of release dates without due process or probable cause," The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition wrote in a release.
El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder cannot hold immigrants strictly at the request of ICE, a judge has ruled.
The county is fighting that ruling and officially filed a formal appeal on Friday of District Court Judge Bentley’s Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction in connection with 18CV30549 Cisneros vs. Sheriff Bill Elder.
The ruling comes after the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of two detainees at the El Paso County jail.
According to the judge, the sheriff's office must have a warrant or is otherwise in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The decision places an immediate injunction on the practice in the county.
The Colorado Immigrant Right Coalition said it applauded the decision.
"Sheriff Elder was right by the law, and in his good faith attempt to collaborate with a federal agency, he has been hung out to dry. We call on ICE to stop their campaign of misinformation with Colorado sheriffs. As a federal agency, ICE should be standing to help our local jurisdictions protect our nation’s constitution, not attempting to bully our local sheriffs into holding people and notifying ICE of release dates without due process or probable cause," the organization said in a statement.
"Sheriff Elder has been a champion of collaboration and cooperation between law enforcement agencies because it is an effective and efficient way to stop criminal activity and protect public safety," according to a release from El Paso County. "To that end he has stood steadfastly with ICE in its mission and has continued to support that mission under the terms of a formal written agreement with ICE to house federal detainees."
In the appeal filed Friday the county says Sheriff Elder was placed in "an impossible position: either violate the Order by accepting ICE detainees or breach the IGSA (Intergovernmental Service Agreement between ICE and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office) and risk loss of public funding.”