For the last year, the Monterey County Sheriff refused to honor ICE holds. That just changed in August of 2015. Since that time ICE agents are on site in the County Jail, Mondays through Fridays when defendants are released from custody and have arrested 85 noncitizens at the County Jail.
This is an end-run around two problems. First, the jail was afraid of liability if they held non-citizens beyond the time of their release on state charges for ICE as a result of a number of federal court cases which held that a sheriff could not legally hold a prisoner for ICE. Second, the Trust Act, signed by the Governor, prohibits a sheriff from holding noncitizens for ICE except for more serious offenses. Now, noncitizen are being arrested by ICE--rather than held by the jail--for low grade misdemeanors or even if charges are never filed or dismissed. The problem is that ICE picks up and deports noncitizens for a variety of relatively minor offenses including a DUI no matter how old the DUI is, for 3 misdemeanors or 1 felony no matter how old or how serious the offenses are, and no matter the individual circumstances of the defendant and his or her family.
Anyone picked up by ICE should call our office and get a consultation to see if we can help them avoid removal. Often, we can get a person out on immigration bond so that they can fight their immigration case while they are back with their family.