ICE Violates the Fourth Amendment When It Detains People Without Probable Cause,
A federal appeals court recently ruled that the Fourth Amendment requires a neutral decisionmaker to review the detention of anyone held based on an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer. The decision came after ICE attempted to detain an American citizen without probable cause and flagged him as eligible for deportation from the United States.
In Gonzalez v. ICE, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed ICE’s process for issuing immigration detainers. ICE issues an immigration detainer when it wants state or local law enforcement officers to hold a person after their release date so ICE can arrest and detain them.
Detainers are often issued based on information contained in ICE or other government agency databases. These databases are notorious for their frequent errors.
ICE must have probable cause that a person can be deported before it may detain them. Based on this fact, the judge ruled there must also be a neutral evaluation of probable cause. Such review must occur “promptly,” which is usually defined as 48 hours.