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State changes how local police may handle immigration charges

Cold weather is reaching New York, but the weather is not the only "ice" residents will have to deal with. State courts recently made a ruling that will affect how law enforcement handles immigration charges.  Previously, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could ask local police to pick up persons with immigration-related warrants. The new law will change this arrangement. 

The new law came after a man with an expired visa was arrested for a DUI. The man was sentenced and given time served. However, after the court proceedings ended, he was arrested again and put in a jail cell rented by ICE to hold him on immigration charges. 

The court has now ruled that local police will not be making arrests solely at the request of ICE for immigration matters. They can still arrest persons with immigration charges for criminal matters, but ICE will have to handle the immigration matters. The court felt that local police were being asked to handle situations they did not have the authority to make arrests for. Now, the courts will only make arrests like the one describes above if ICE or local police can provide a warrant for the arrest of a particular individual, and it must have already been signed by a judge. 

If a New York resident feels he or she needs assistance handling immigration charges, he or she should know that help is available. A knowledgeable attorney may be more up to date on the latest legislation and can help a client through the judicial process. Having an attorney on the team can help a defendant feel confident that his or her case will be handled properly in a court of law. 

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