Trump Administration Caught Asking Sheriffs To Illegally Detain Immigrants

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President Donald Trump has absolutely no idea what he is doing, and because of that grim fact, we are in trouble. Not only does the president have no idea what he is doing, pretty much none of his closest advisers have any idea what they are doing either, and it’s put us in danger as a nation.

The president is committed to advancing his belligerent personal agenda as much as he is committed to enacting any sort of comprehensive policy reforms. Sheriffs from around the country have gone on the record to reveal that the Trump Administration is attempting to pressure them into illegally detaining people in the name of enacting the president’s draconian vision for American immigration policy.

It’s illegal for sheriffs to wantonly detain undocumented immigrants if the only strike against them is their immigration status. This precedent is what underlies the recent ruling against former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio that found him to be in violation of the law because of his wanton immigration status policing that went, in the estimation of the courts, well above and beyond the call of duty.

Sheriffs currently serving around the nation say that the Trump Administration is attempting to pressure them into doing exactly what landed Arpaio in trouble, and turn their respective police departments into de facto arms of federal immigration authorities. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reportedly been filing what are called “detainers,” which are documents that demand that local police departments detain undocumented immigrants until federal authorities can take them into custody.

There is just one problem — it’s against the law for police departments to do that, “detainers” or otherwise.

Hennepin County, Minnesota Sheriff Richard Stanek explained the situation to the Daily Beast as follows:

‘The current ICE detainer notion that Sheriffs can and should hold alleged illegal aliens beyond the time that their local charges are adjudicated is in violation of their constitutional rights while in the United States of America, and ICE knows this.’

Making this whole thing even worse is the fact that multiple sheriffs say they don’t even think that key members of the Trump Administration have any idea that what they are asking them to do is against the law.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri spoke recently about the issue with Trump adviser Stephen Miller, and his takeaway from his interactions with the presidential confidante is “that he was uninformed about this problem.”

Gualtieri added:

‘I think that there are certain admin officials who think that these warrants [detainers] solve the problem, and are saying, “What are you sheriffs doing? Why aren’t you cooperating?” when they don’t know that it is clearly a problem and that we can’t do it.’

Remarkably, breaking with the “We don’t talk with a straight face to anyone about anything” aura normally maintained by the Trump Administration, ICE actually responded to the Daily Beast’s request for comment.

Agency spokesperson Liz Johnson said that her agency is exploring “a variety of options that address the concerns of our sheriff partners when honoring ICE detainers.”

Remember — ICE leadership positions are largely filled by the president, while sheriffs are normally elected. This difference of origin for the officials butting heads on this issue no doubt explains why they are butting heads — with the law unsurprisingly being on the opposite side from the Trump Administration.

Featured Image via John Moore / Getty Images