The Second Department, Appellate Division today invited further submissions, including from the offices of United States and New York State Attorneys General, in a case filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union on Monday regarding the authority of local law enforcement officers to make immigration arrests.
The New York Civil Liberties Union challenged the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office’s policy of detaining immigrants at the behest of Immigration and Customs Enforcement after they should otherwise have been released. The NYCLU petitioned the Appellate Court to issue a writ of habeas corpus in the hope of securing the release Susai Francis, a man from India who had taken a plea to a violation and who should have been released on Monday afternoon. However, the Sheriff’s Office took Mr. Francis into custody and held him for nearly two days until U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) took him into custody, while the court was still reviewing the case. After ICE assumed custody of Mr. Francis on Wednesday, the Court issued the invitation for further briefing.
The following statement is attributable to Jordan Wells, lead attorney on the case and staff attorney at the NYCLU:
“Law enforcement officers across the state arrest and hold immigrants for ICE on a routine basis, despite having no authority to do so. The short duration of arrests like our client’s means they often evade any judicial scrutiny, so we are encouraged by the news that the court will examine the kind of arrest at issue here.”