The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center applaud Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young’s decision to refuse to hold detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless it presents an arrest warrant issued by a federal judge or magistrate. Today’s decision follows the arrest of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, who is a U.S. citizen and decorated veteran, but was turned over to ICE by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at ICE’s request. In a letter to the Kent County Sheriff and Kent County Commission, the ACLU and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) called for an immediate investigation into the detention of Mr. Ramos-Gomez. That investigation has resulted in the new policy to require a judicially-issued warrant for all ICE detainees.

ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman issued the following statement:

“We applaud the Kent County Sheriff for launching an immediate investigation and recognizing that no one should be handed over to ICE unless ICE has a judicial warrant. Jilmar’s case shows that blindly turning people over to ICE based on ICE’s error-ridden detainer system is a recipe for disaster.  We call on local law enforcement across the country to follow the lead of the Kent County Sheriff, and ensure that no one gets held for ICE unless a judge signs off.  We also call on ICE – which has refused to do an investigation – to do so.”