ORLANDO (FOX 13) - The Florida Sheriff's Association is taking on ICE after the agency began posting a list of agencies it says do not obey requests to detain certain criminals - namely illegal immigrants.
The list is the result of an order from the Trump administration and is published every week on a six-week lag. It calls out law enforcement agencies that allegedly don't cooperate with detainer requests. But sheriff's offices in Florida say there's more to the story than what the list implies.
"Somebody could walk in this door right now, walk up to me and say, 'I am here illegally.' There is nothing I can do about it because I don't have jurisdiction over it," Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County explained at a news conference Tuesday. "We ask the [Department of Homeland Security] to stop issuing this report, and stop misrepresenting to the public and citizens that we are not cooperating with them."
Gualtieri says nine courts have said detaining a potential illegal immigrant under a civil warrant violates Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and arbitrary arrest.
"We want to make sure that the public knows that we, and the sheriffs of Florida, are 100 percent cooperative to the extent the law permits," Gualtieri said.
ICE responded to a request for comment by pointing to its website, which says, "The report is intended to provide the public with information regarding criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignores detainers."
"[For them to keep] visiting sheriffs of Florida and knocking on the doors of sheriffs and telling us, 'If you don't honor these detainers, we are going to put you on this report,' is not the way to do business," Gualtieri said.
The sheriffs have also demanded a full accounting of how the list is put together, to no avail.
Sheriff Gualtieri says they hope to find a solution to the problem by working with ICE.
To view the most recent list, visit https://www.ice.gov/doclib/ddor/ddor2017_02-04to02-10.pdf
"We swear under oath to protect, support and defend the US Constitution," said Sheriff Jerry Demings of Orange County.