Tag Archives: immigration reform

Wisconsin needs to be welcoming place for immigrant workers

Thousands rallied on Feb. 18 in Madison to protest two pieces of legislation. The bills deal with restrictions on issuing local identification cards and a ban on “sanctuary cities,” where police and other public employees are not allowed to ask about someone’s citizenship status.

It’s critical that Wisconsin be a welcoming place for Latino and other immigrant workers who play such an important role in many parts of the economy.

Dairy farmers face significant struggles in finding and retaining workers because of the demands of the job. This is a very real problem and one that poses a major threat to our farms as well as the host of businesses and services connected to dairy.

Dairy accounts for $43.4 billion of Wisconsin’s annual economy, almost half of agriculture’s overall impact. Immigrants, particularly Latinos, are key.

A University of Wisconsin-Madison study in 2009, the most recent available, found that about 40 percent or 5,300 of all employees on dairy farms in the state were immigrants, with 90 percent of them from Mexico.

Ultimately, federal immigration reforms are needed to provide some avenue for those workers to remain in the country regardless of their status.

The state bills could have limited practical impact, but they signal that Wisconsin does not value immigrants’ contributions.

That’s not the sort of message we should be sending. Driving away immigrant workers is not the answer.

Editor’s note: The Dairy Business Association is a nonprofit organization of Wisconsin dairy farmers, milk processors, vendors and business partners.

Supreme Court will review Obama’s executive order on immigration

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review President Barack Obama’s December 2014 executive order granting up to 5 million undocumented residents the right to work legally in the United States, including 34,000 in Wisconsin.

The justices said they’ll consider the constitutionality of Obama’s plan, which lower courts blocked from taking effect after 26 Republican governors, including Scott Walker, filed suit against it. The court’s announcement comes amid a presidential campaign in which anti-immigrant fervor has galvanized the Republican Party.

AP reported the case will be argued in April and decided by late June, a month before the major political parties hold their nominating conventions.

Immigration reform groups were buoyed by the high court’s announcement, despite its 5–4 conservative majority. Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of the Milwaukee-based immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera, said she’s expecting a favorable decision because the president’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program stands on strong constitutional ground.

“What (Obama’s) doing is not changing the law, but making a choice about priorities in terms of how we should use our immigration resources,” explained Neumann-Ortiz. “(The president’s) providing protection from deportation for five millions people. It’s not a permanent solution. That can only come from Congress. But it gives people three-year renewable visas, valid social security numbers and access to drivers’ licenses.”

Democratic officials also praised the court’s action. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said that “law-abiding men and women continue to live in constant fear of being separated from their children. These families must be allowed to step out of the shadows and fully contribute to the country that they love and call home.”

At the center of the litigation is Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program. It would allow people who have been in the United States more than five years and who have children who are in the country legally to “come out of the shadows and get right with the law.”

Obama’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. contends that blocking Obama’s plans forces millions of people “to continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families.”

So far, the federal courts have blocked the administration from issuing work permits and allowing immigrants to receive some federal benefits. But Neumann-Ortiz said the legal jurisdictions that have been involved so far are untra-conservative and biased.

The case originated in the Western District of Texas and lost its second appeal at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

If the Supreme Court does side with the administration, that would leave only about seven months in Obama’s presidency to implement his plans. “We are confident that the policies will be upheld as lawful,” White House spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine told AP after the court’s action today.

Initially, the Obama administration said Texas and the other states that filed to block the immigration action didn’t have the right to challenge the plan in federal court. The lower courts decided, however, that Texas does have the standing to sue because at least 500,000 people living in the state would qualify for work permits and become eligible for driver licenses, the cost of which are subsidized by the state. “Texas would incur millions of dollars in costs,” the state said in its brief to the Supreme Court.

Texas asked the Supreme Court not to hear the case, but Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was pleased the justices will examine the president’s constitutional power to intercede without congressional approval.

The future of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally has been much discussed by Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton has pledged to go further than Obama to protect large groups of immigrants from deportation.

Republican candidate Donald Trump has proposed deporting all people who are living in the U.S. illegally, an idea embraced by some GOP candidates and dismissed by others.

Obama said he was spurred to act on his own by Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive immigration legislation. An earlier program that is not being challenged, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, shields immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. Under that program, more than 720,000 young immigrants have been granted permission to live and work legally in the United States.

The White House also has shifted its enforcement actions to focus on criminals, those who pose a threat to national security or public safety, and recent border-crossers.

The change means that people who are here illegally but who are not otherwise violating the law are less likely to face deportation.

About 235,000 people were deported in the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

That was the smallest number since 2006 and a 42 percent drop since a record high of more than 409,000 in 2012.

Still, the administration drew criticism from Democrats and immigration advocates for raids this month that resulted in the arrest of more than 120 immigrants from Central America who came to the country illegally since 2014. Those recent arrivals are not among immigrants who would benefit from Obama’s plan.

Sanders details ‘Family First’ plan for immigration reform

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders this week introduced a plan to reform the nation’s immigration system. The U.S. senator’s plan puts families first, focuses on common sense reforms to build the middle class and embraces our nation’s diversity, according to a news release from his campaign.

“As we gather with our loved ones to give thanks, we should reflect on the fact that not all families will be so lucky,” Sanders said. “Millions of families are torn apart by our broken immigration policies. We cannot forget about the aspiring Americans who continue to live in the shadows. As the son of an immigrant, I can tell you that their story – my story, your story, our story – is the story of America: the story of hardworking families coming to the United States to create a brighter future for their kids We have an obligation to enact policies that unite families, not tear them apart.”

If elected, Sanders would:

• Dismantle inhumane deportation programs and private detention centers.

• Offer humane treatment and asylum to victims of domestic violence and minors fleeing from dangerous circumstances in Latin America.

• End policies that discriminate against women and ensure that mothers and wives who come into the United States with their families have the same right to work as their partners.

• Pave the way for a swift legislative path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

• Close loopholes that allow federal agencies to use racial and ethnic profiling at the border.

• Ensure our border remains secure and protects local communities.

• Make it easier for immigrants to access the judicial system.

• Increase oversight of key Department of Homeland Security agencies to guard against waste, fraud and abuse.

Sanders pledged to make immigration a top priority of his administration, even if Congress refuses to act. He would take executive action to allow all undocumented people who have been in the United States for at least five years to stay in the country without fear of being deported.

Under Sanders’ plan, close to 9 million aspiring Americans would be able to apply to stay in the United States.

“As president, I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship and is grounded in civil, humane and economic rights. But let me be clear: I will not stand idly by waiting around for a dysfunctional Congress to act. Instead, during the first 100 days of my administration I will take extensive action to accomplish what Congress has failed to do and to build upon President Obama’s executive orders.”

Obama: Critics of immigration reform ignore ‘human consequences’

President Barack Obama is accusing opponents of his immigration action of failing to think about the “human consequences.”

The president spoke during an Oval Office meeting this week with six young immigrants who would be subject to eventual deportation under a bill passed by the House. The legislation would overturn Obama’s executive actions limiting deportations for millions here illegally and giving them the ability to work.

Obama repeated his threat to veto the legislation and says he is confident he could uphold a veto over any attempts to override it.

Obama says the debate has become an “abstraction” and the so-called “Dreamers” he met with “represent the best that this country has to offer.” He says the House bill would see them deported, and he thinks that’s wrong.

Obama encourages Pride celebrants to work for progressive causes

President Barack Obama, with the first lady by his side, encouraged those gathered for the White House’s LGBT Pride celebration to work for other progressive causes.

The president praised those assembled at the White House for June 30 for their passion and drive for equal rights for LGBT people.

He said there still is work to be done, and promised to do his part, including asking his staff to prepare two executive orders intended to protect some LGBT employees left unprotected by the GOP-controlled House. One executive order would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Another executive order would prohibit discrimination in the federal government on the basis of gender identity.

The president, in his brief remarks, then urged Pride celebrants to continue to work for LGBT equality, and to also work to further other progressive causes.

“And I would also ask all of us to direct some of the energy and passion and resources of this movement towards other injustices that exist,” he said. “Because one of the things that I think we should have learned — Dr. King said an ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’  And that means that we’ve got to be able to set up a community that extends beyond our own particular narrow interests; we’ve got to make sure that we’re reaching out to others who need our help as well.

“And that means fighting for poor kids. And it means fighting for workers to get a decent wage. It means showing compassion for the undocumented worker who is contributing to our society and just wants a chance to come out of the shadows. It means fighting for equal pay for equal work. It means standing up for sexual — standing up against sexual violence wherever it occurs.  It means trying to eliminate any vestige of racial or religious discrimination and anti-Semitism wherever it happens.

“That’s how we continue our nation’s march towards justice and equality.  That’s how we build a more perfect union –- a country where no matter what you look like, where you come from, what your last name is, who you love, you’ve got a chance to make it if you try.  You guys have shown what can happen when people of goodwill organize and stand up for what’s right.”

Just before the Pride celebration, the president delivered remarks in which he said he would not stand by and do nothing to reform the immigration system.

“Our country and our economy would be stronger today if House Republicans had allowed a simple yes-or-no vote on this bill or, for that matter, any bill. They’d be following the will of the majority of the American people, who support reform. And instead they’ve proven again and again that they’re unwilling to stand up to the tea party in order to do what’s best for the country,” the president in remarks made mid-afternoon in the Rose Garden.

Soon after, he was in the East Room celebrating Pride with dozens of invited guests.

“You guys have shown what can happen when people of goodwill organize and stand up for what’s right,” the president said. “And we’ve got to make sure that that’s not applied just one place, in one circumstance, in one time. That’s part of the journey that makes America the greatest country on Earth.”

Labor Secretary Tom Perez attended the event, along with other top officials in the administration, several federal judges, several mayors and legislators.

The White House served wine, Champagne, beef sandwiches and desserts, including chocolate-covered lollipops adorned with pink bows.

Earlier in June, Obama issued a Pride proclamation. He has issued one each of his years in the White House. Bill Clinton also issued Pride proclamations. George W. Bush did not and instead worked with cabinet members in his administration to block Pride celebrations in the federal government.

The Pride celebration was streamed live from whitehouse.gov.

Analysis: GOP paralyzed by immigration reform

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s startling primary loss last week to a tea party-backed opponent illustrates how the GOP finds itself paralyzed by immigration reform. The policy most party leaders agree is best for the Republican Party’s future is risky for most House Republicans seeking re-election in the fall.

Almost all represent districts that are home to few minorities and they are in greater danger of losing to a primary challenger than to a Democrat in the general election. That leaves little incentive for the GOP-controlled House to even touch an immigration overhaul that would to grant citizenship to many of the 11 million people living in the country illegally.

Economics professor David Brat hammered Cantor, R-Va., for purportedly backing “amnesty” for people in the U.S. illegally during his primary challenge. He called his unexpected victory a wake-up call that “immigration reform is DOA.” Others, however, said it was Cantor’s reluctance to act on immigration reform that hurt him at the polls.

After Cantor’s defeat, Republicans are left in a quandary before the 2016 election — what to do about an issue that’s often a winner in primaries but could cripple the party in a White House race before a more diverse electorate.

“Pain can be a good teaching tool sometimes,” said Mario H. Lopez, a Republican and executive director of the Hispanic Leadership Fund. “It may take another White House beat-down before some folks understand what kind of cliff they’re walking over.”

Many people involved in the immigration debate have similar predictions about what will happen next: The House takes no action on an immigration overhaul, President Barack Obama makes good on his promise to ease deportations by executive action later this summer, and that inflames the GOP even more, dooming any bill in 2015.

When the next presidential race gets underway, a broad field of the GOP’s presidential candidates will be competing for the support of primary voters who are far more opposed to an immigration overhaul than most Americans.

To some Republicans, that brings back memories of 2012, when Republican Mitt Romney adopted tough-on-illegal-immigration rhetoric to win the Republican presidential primaries. On Election Day, Hispanic and Asian voters overwhelmingly backed Obama.

The lone policy recommendation of GOP’s post-mortem on Romney’s loss was to pass immigration reform. While 14 Republican senators voted for an immigration overhaul that chamber passed last year, the measure was declared dead on arrival in the House. Republican lawmakers, many of whom were focused on the midterms, sought to avoid angering their base.

Immigration skeptics argue that’s the right way for the party to appeal to the working class.

“There aren’t enough rich people and there aren’t enough businesspeople to elect people to office,” said Roy Beck, president of Numbers USA, which advocates for less immigration and believes those in favor of an overhaul are catering to financial elites who want to import cheaper workers into the U.S. “They have to have wage-earners.”

Immigrant rights groups complained that Cantor was part of the reason the overhaul died in the House, but as majority leader he opened the door to narrower measures that would grant citizenship to people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. That was enough to fuel his primary challenger.

It wasn’t immigration alone that doomed Cantor. The Virginia congressman sowed resentment by spending too much time focused on national issues as majority leader and not enough tending to his district. Others note that South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a chief architect of the Senate’s immigration overhaul, easily won his primary against a batch of tea party challengers.

And yet, the message appears clear to Republicans in Congress. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner said a bill probably wouldn’t be possible this year.

“Perception is reality in politics, and the perception among Republican members of Congress is going to be that (Cantor) lost because he took a somewhat squishy stance on immigration,” said Republican pollster Glen Bolger, who expects similar caution among 2016 hopefuls.

“You’ll see the volume turned way down on that,” Bolger said. “You’re going to see a lot more caution and a lot less risk-taking.”

Among the 2016 prospects taking care with the issue is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who has received a tepid reaction from some Republican activists for a proposal that would let some people living in the U.S. illegally receive citizenship. He told reporters this week the immigration debate has become too charged.

“We’re trapped in this rhetoric and we have to get beyond that,” Paul said.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio changed course on immigration in the wake of a backlash from GOP activists that followed his work as one of the eight co-authors of the Senate overhaul. He now argues the country shouldn’t consider creating a citizenship pathway until it secures its southern border.

“That was true before last night,” Rubio said the day after Cantor lost. “That’s especially true now.”

Matt Schlapp, a Republican consultant who worked for President George W. Bush, said the varying politics of immigration doom the prospects for any near-term action. After this year’s midterms, Democrats are sure to spend the next two years beating up on Republicans for the lack of movement, which in turn will lead the GOP to dig in deeper.

“If we have divided government, the politics have to work for both parties,” Schlapp said. “Until we get these things worked out, this just isn’t going to happen.”

Eric Cantor falls to tea party challenger in Virginia

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says his supporters should continue to fight for the conservative values he championed in Congress despite his defeat at the hands of a little-known tea party candidate.

But the Republican congressman from Virginia won’t be in the fight for too long. He says he’ll resign his leadership position on July 31.

Cantor told glum supporters in Richmond, Virginia, that “obviously, we came up short.”

He said it was the highest honor of his life serving as House majority leader.

The congressman was defeated by economics professor Dave Brat. He conceded to Brat with his wife at his side at a suburban Richmond hotel, offering only brief remarks. He refused to take questions from reporters and drove away in a black SUV.

Jay S. Poole, a Cantor volunteer, says Brat tapped into widespread frustration among voters about the gridlock in Washington and issues such as immigration reform. Brat is against immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrations.

Roll Call said Cantor is the first majority leader to lose his party primary. 

Two days after the election, many were still reflecting on the meaning of Brat’s victory and Cantor’s loss.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said, “After a day of instant analysis and breathless conclusions, even a small step back reveals a very clear message about Eric Cantor’s loss: he, and the Republican Party he represents, are hopelessly out of touch with the basic aspirations of regular people.

“As a Republican leader, Eric Cantor enabled corporate money in the pursuit of one idea, one message, one strategy, and one tactic.  And they were all the same: obstruction.”

At Milwaukee-based Voces de la Frontera immigrant rights group, executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz said Cantor’s loss was not a referendum on immigration reform. She cited polls showing 70 percent of Republicans in his district support reform.

Cantor’s loss, she added, has to do with his blocking immigration reform.

“Cantor represented ​a ​status quo Republican leadership that has blocked immigration reform for a year, and which now necessitates the President act swiftly to use his​ executive ​authority to protect families​ by providing avenues for legal status and relief from deportations,” she said. “As long as the GOP continues this failed strategy, they will be irrelevant as a party in 2016. Now is the time for President Obama to repair his legacy, and fulfill the promise he made to Latino voters.”

Advocates for immigration reform see window closing before elections

Advocates for immigration reform are mounting a final push to persuade the House to pass legislation this summer, seeing one last window to act that will soon slam shut for good.

If they don’t succeed by August, most say any chance of legislation will be over for the year, and all eyes will be on President Barack Obama to see if he acts on his own to curb deportations and accommodate some of the 11.5 million people here illegally.

The renewed focus on the GOP-led House comes amid chatter that immigration legislation – all but left for dead at the beginning of this year – is showing faint glimmers of life. Advocates point to recent comments by a handful of House Republicans, among them Speaker John Boehner, indicating an interest in getting it done.

Meanwhile Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., the leading proponent on the Republican side, has been trying to sell fellow Republicans on legislation he’s drafted that deals with enforcement of the laws and a legal status for those without one. He contends that after years of trying he’s struck a balance that can bring both sides on board.

“I think we finally have it right which is why I feel more optimistic than ever,” Diaz-Balart said.

Advocates note that midterm election primaries will largely be over by the end of June, freeing some House Republicans from the threat of a challenge from the right and perhaps liberating them to deal with a contentious issue like immigration.

Business lobbyists and others say they are now aiming to elevate pressure on individual House Republicans who might support overhaul efforts, or at least not publicly oppose them, with the aim of creating a swell of support that would allow Boehner the space he needs to act. Some outside lobbyists say they can count scores of House Republicans who would be with them.

The activity comes 10 months after the Senate passed bipartisan legislation with billions for border security, new visa programs to bring workers to the U.S., and a path to citizenship for the millions now here illegally. There is widespread agreement within the Republican establishment that the immigration issue has become a political drag on the GOP because of how it alienates Latinos, a fast-growing voter bloc. A wide-ranging coalition consisting of business groups, farmers, religious leaders, labor unions and others is pushing for reform.

But the same factors that have made immigration legislation a challenge from the beginning haven’t changed. For many individual House Republicans who represent largely white districts, there remains scant political imperative to act. And there is a small but vocal contingent among Republicans who oppose any effort at reform, and, egged on by some outside conservatives such as radio host Laura Ingraham, has vowed to take any step possible to oppose it.

The outsize sway of this small group was demonstrated recently when it mobilized against efforts by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., to advance legislation allowing eventual citizenship for people brought illegally to the country as youths who serve in the military.

Boehner has shown little appetite for standing down this faction, instead swiftly retreating after he made comments last week mocking House Republicans for being reluctant to act on immigration because it was too hard.

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, a leading conservative voice on immigration, said “there would be a civil war” if Boehner tried to move immigration. A House leadership aide said there were no plans for floor action this summer.

Meanwhile, Obama has come under intense pressure to address the issue through executive action, and his Homeland Security Department is conducting a review that could result in steps to soften the administration’s deportations policy. Advocates have hoped for some initial steps within coming weeks, although nothing major is expected until it becomes clear Boehner can’t or won’t act. If he doesn’t act by August at latest, attention will turn squarely to the administration for relief.

In a meeting Friday with Asian advocates and others, Obama made clear that the focus must be on Congress for now, said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., who attended.

Still, some advocates are more hopeful now than they were earlier this year after Boehner released a set of principles meant to guide action in the House, only to quickly abandon them after an unenthusiastic response from fellow Republicans.

“The people who want to do this just need to take a deep breath and do it,” said Galen Carey, vice president of government relations at the National Association of Evangelicals, which brought more than 250 pastors to Capitol Hill this week to lobby for reform.

Fundraiser celebrates LGBT support for immigration rights

Voces de la Frontera holds a fundraiser and celebrates LGBT support for immigration reform with Voces for Equality on April 24 at Wherehouse, 818 S. Water St., Milwaukee. The event celebrates families and unity.

Also, the nonprofit is organizing its annual May Day March for 10 a.m. on May 1. Thousands are expected to march in Milwaukee to call for an end to deportations and for comprehensive immigration reform.

The march will assemble at 1027 S. Fifth St. and travel to the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

For more info, go to vdlf.org.

Federal ruling puts halt on some immigration detainers

A federal judge in Oregon has found that an immigrant woman’s constitutional rights were violated when she was held in jail without probable cause at the request of U.S. immigration authorities, one of several recent federal court decisions to scrutinize the practice of keeping people in jail after they’re eligible for release so that they can be considered for deportation.

The rulings make it clear that local officials are not required to honor immigration authorities’ requests that someone in custody continue to be held even though their original charges were resolved or they are eligible for bail, and that local jurisdictions may be held liable for doing so.

The rulings have spurred several jurisdictions — from multiple Oregon counties to the city of Philadelphia — to announce they will no longer honor requests for such holds.

Previously, some counties and states had already limited use of the practice, arguing it is expensive, erodes immigrants’ trust in law enforcement, and drags people with minor infractions such as traffic violations into deportation.

“This will undoubtedly improve the relationship between each of these offices and the immigrant and refugee communities,” said Carmen Madrid, an organizer with the Portland-based nonprofit Center for Intercultural Organizing.

The decisions come as immigration reform has stalled and the Obama administration is being criticized for deporting mostly people who have not committed a serious crime – despite its stance to focus on dangerous criminals.

Requests that an immigrant be held are sent to local law enforcement by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. The agency knows who is being booked into local jails because of an information-sharing partnership between ICE, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local jurisdictions.

The notices request that the person be jailed for an extra two days, excluding weekends and holidays, so that ICE can initiate an investigation and take the person into custody.

But immigrant rights advocates say ICE has made mistakes in the past, incarcerating U.S. citizens, people who have not committed any crimes, or those arrested on misdemeanors.

“They do it in a dragnet manner without first doing the investigation upfront, sometimes before a local district attorney has even signed off on the charges. So it results in the unjust incarceration of a lot of people who are not deportable at all, or who are not found guilty in the criminal process,” said Kate Desormeau, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

In recent years, California, Connecticut and more than a dozen jurisdictions around the country have stopped or limited their compliance with the so-called immigration detainer requests. Lawmakers in Massachusetts and Maryland are considering similar legislation. On Wednesday, the mayor of Philadelphia signed an executive order limiting the use of such holds.

ICE has said that the requests are optional. The detainers generally are not accompanied with a warrant.

But many local law enforcement agencies say they have treated them as orders because the requests cite federal regulation, which states that a law enforcement agency “shall maintain custody of an alien” once a detainer request has been issued.

“The fact that the detainers contain both language of request and command has led to conflicting interpretations as to whether the immigration detainers provide legal authority for the continued custody of the people named in the detainers,” Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts wrote in a letter announcing the suspension in the use of detainers.

Roberts changed his policy after a U.S. District Court judge last Friday found the detainers are “requests” that do not provide the necessary legal basis for the jail to hold a person in custody after charges are resolved – and consequently, that in March 2012, the county violated Maria Miranda-Olivares’ rights under the 4th Amendment by prolonging her incarceration without probable cause.

The woman, who was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to 48 hours in jail, was incarcerated for more than two weeks due to the ICE hold, even though she was eligible for pre-trial release upon posting bail and after her release from state charges. A hearing will determine how much the county must pay Miranda-Olivares in damages.

The ruling has led sheriffs in Oregon’s Multnomah, Washington, Marion and Deschutes counties to suspend the use of immigration holds. The regional jail that serves Hood River, Wasco, Gilliam, and Sherman counties will also no longer comply with ICE detainer requests.

The Clackamas County case follows a similar case in Philadelphia, where the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that state and local law enforcement authorities are not required to comply with requests from ICE to hold people on detainers without probable cause. The ruling, which involved a U.S. citizen, also recognized that states and localities may share liability when they participate in such detentions.

And in another case in Rhode Island involving a naturalized U.S. citizen, the district court issued a decision reaffirming that detainers don’t justify warrantless imprisonment and allowed the immigrant’s lawsuit against federal and state defendants to proceed.

“These rulings have dispelled any lingering uncertainty on whether localities can say no to ICE detainers,” Desormeau said. “So jurisdictions that have been sitting on the sidelines may now act to limit their use. Otherwise, they’re inviting legal liability.”