New Durham County sheriff ends honoring of ICE detainers

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Friday, December 7, 2018
New Durham County sheriff ends ICE cooperation
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New Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead ends ICE cooperation.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- New Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead announced Friday that his office will no longer honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers.

Birkhead issued a policy directing Durham County Detention Center staff to release ICE detainees as soon as they are eligible.

ICE places detainers on people who have been arrested on local criminal charges and for whom ICE claims to have probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States.

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The detainers allow ICE to take custody of such suspects when they are released from local custody.

In ICE detainers, federal officials request that a local jail or other law enforcement agency detain a suspect for an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after his or her release date to provide ICE agents time to take them into custody.

Birkhead's directive advises staffers that absent of a court order or arrest warrant signed by a judicial official, any person who has had their criminal charges disposed of or who has made bond will not be held beyond the normal timetable for release.

Birkhead signed the policy Friday and it went into effect immediately.