Ingham County Sheriff's Office announces changes to immigrant detaining protocol

The Ingham County Sheriff's Department is changing the way it holds people for ICE on detainers requests.

"We've had seven so far this year," explains Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth, "four of the detainers have been withdrawn by ICE while the people were in our custody and of the three we turned over to ICE it was the very next day. I think the average stay was like 22 hours."

Sheriff Wriggelsworth doesn't think his change to the county's immigrant detainer policy will affect ICE at all:

"My thought is if we have one of those people then ICE is gonna be here to pick em up."

He's changing the policy because he doesn't think he should hold people for extended periods of time, and also to keep the county jail clear.

"It's not as easy as 'oh just hold him another three days and we'll get there when we get there,'" Wriggelsworth says with a smile.

ICE isn't happy. In a statement they say:

"The agency is deeply concerned about any policy that would limit cooperation with ICE detainers, which could ultimately result in a dangerous criminal alien being released into the community.

Detainers serve as a legally-authorized request, upon which a law enforcement agency may rely, to continue to maintain custody of an alien for up to 48 hours so that ICE may assume custody for removal purposes. Pursuant to ICE policy, all ICE detainers are submitted with an accompanying administrative arrest warrant or warrant of removal depending upon the circumstances of the individual case. ICE places immigration detainers when the agency possesses probable cause to believe an alien is deportable from the United States.”

Sheriff Wriggelsworth doesn't think it's limiting cooperation.

"I make the argument that I think we're partnering with ICE even better because we're going to stay in constant contact with them," he describes, "let them know we have this person, when they're going to be released, these constant reminders, and if there's somebody they want they're going to have to be there to pick em up when we release them."