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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Making It Up As You Go Along

In the Boston Globe today, there is an article by David Leopold in which he claims that not only can't the federal government withhold funds from sanctuary cities, but also that local police cannot constitutionally cooperate with ICE detainers.  It's a ridiculous legal position; a "tour de farce" of BS in legalese.

Here's the heart of what Leopold says:

The 10th Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the federal government from coercing states into becoming immigration enforcement agents.
....ICE detainers raise very serious constitutional concerns for local jurisdictions. The federal courts have ruled that the Fourth Amendment forbids the government from locking someone up without a warrant signed by a judge or probable cause.
Now let's discuss the actual law.  The 10th Amendment (as interpreted by the Supreme Court) does place a limit on what Congress can do to force states to adopt particular policies.  The limitations, however, do not prevent minor actions by the states from being rewarded (or penalized).  Holding a prisoner after receipt of a notice from federal agents for a day or so to allow the feds to come and take custody of that prisoner is hardly a major involvement by the state.  It is, rather, exactly the type of activity for which the courts have long allowed the federal government to motivate the states through funding rewards.
As for the Fourth Amendment, Leopold's argument is even more laughable.  The people at issue here are "locked up" because they either committed or are accused of committing local crimes.  Detainers apply only to those who have been otherwise arrested by the local police.  Is someone accused of murder?  If so, he or she can be arrested with probably cause that satisfies the Fourth Amendment.  If the feds then notify the local police that the prisoner is wanted for deportation, there is no violation of that amendment if the local police hold the prisoner until the feds get their to take custody. 
If someone commits a crime in New Jersey and then goes to New York, the local police can arrest that person and hold him or her for extradition back to New Jersey.  This is the equivalent of a federal detainer.  Indeed, if the FBI puts out a notice that someone wanted for a criminal act is in a particular state and the local police find that person, the Constitution allows the locals to arrest him or her and to hold that person for the feds.  Detainers are even clearer that these examples because the initial arrest is the result of probable cause of commission of a crime under local law.

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