Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says a court ruling that prohibits Las Vegas Metro Police and other Nevada law enforcement agencies from making arrests based on immigration status “may be seen as a setback,” and is likely to be appealed to the Ninth Circuit. Until then, Metro will no longer honor its agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement to detain immigrants.
“LVMPD awaits further direction from the appeals court; however, until the uncertainty in the law is clarified, it must cease honoring ICE detainers” the release says. “LVMPD will continue to work with ICE at the Clark County Detention Center in removing persons without legal status who have committed violent crimes.
“I am optimistic that this change will not hinder LVMPD’s ability to fight violent crime” Lombardo said in the release. “While the ruling can be seen as a setback, I am determined that through cooperation with our federal partners the goal of removing the worst of the worst can still be accomplished.”
Southern Nevada groups have long complained that Metro has failed to be transparent and accountable about its relationship with ICE.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, 78 law enforcement agencies across the country participate in the 287(g) program. Those agencies are required to host steering committee meetings, like the one in Las Vegas Tuesday, where law enforcement agencies go over new information about the program.
Metro left immigrant and rights advocates even more dumbfounded earlier this month after a public meeting on the 287 (g) program ended in less than 10 minutes.
“This is the right decision for the state’s largest law enforcement agency,” Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada, said in a statement about Metro’s decision Wednesday. “It’s not just inappropriate for Nevada agencies to participate in the federal government’s deportation agenda, but it’s unconstitutional as well. We’ll continue to advocate for the rights of our immigrant communities, and will engage with other police agencies around the state to end their partnerships with ICE.”
The ACLU has argued the Trump administration policy of detaining immigrants was based on information gleaned from flawed databases and violates the Fourth Amendment, which requires that arrests be based on probable cause.