An ICE detainer—or “immigration hold”—is one of the key tools U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to apprehend individuals who come in contact with local and state law enforcement agencies and put them into the federal deportation system. An ICE detainer is a written request that a local jail or other law enforcement agency detain an individual for an additional 48 hours after his or her release date in order to provide ICE agents extra time to decide whether to take the individual into federal custody for removal purposes.

ICE’s use of detainers to imprison people without due process and, in many cases, without any charges pending or probable cause of any violation has raised serious constitutional concerns. Local law enforcement agencies run the risk of litigation and damages liability when they honor ICE detainer requests.


January 2019: 
Backgrounder on ICE detainer requests

August 2018:
Recent ICE Detainer Damages Cases (2018)
FAQ on ICE's New "Enforcement Partnerships" in Florida 

July 2015:
Recent ICE Detainer Cases

June 2015:
ACLU and coalition partners' letter to DHS regarding implementation of Priority Enforcement Program

December 2014:

ACLU Backgrounder on Discontinued Secure Communities Program, Detainer Reforms, and New Priority Enforcement Program 


April 2014:
ACLU Administrative Recommendations on ICE Detainers

November 2013:
Restoring Trust: How Immigration Detainers in Maryland Undermine Public Safety Through Unnecessary Enforcement (ACLU of Maryland)

March 2013:
Testimony Submitted by the ACLU of Pennsylvania Regarding ICE Detainers

October 2012:
What ICE Isn't Telling You About Detainers: A Fact Sheet for Local Law Enforcement Agencies

July 2012:
Statement for Congressional Hearing on "Building a Secure Community: How Can DHS Better Leverage State and Local Parternships?

November 2011:
Statement for Congressional Hearing on "Is Secure Communities Keeping Our Communities Secure? 

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