WASHINGTON– Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has released the following statement about Immigration and Customs Enforcement Requests and the release of Suspects:
“Recently, there have been reports of concerns expressed that Montgomery County has released undocumented people, accused of serious crimes, back into communities despite the fact that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may have issued detainer requests for them. In fact, the release of people – whether they are awaiting trial or have completed serving their sentences – are decisions made by the court system and not by the County government. That is the same process for everyone in the court system.
There is great confusion on this issue, and that is because some people want to make it confusing. I want to make it clear how Montgomery County enforces its policies. It is the court system that determines whether someone is held without bail or whether a bail is set, and it is our court system alone, that decides when and how people are released.
County police and our Correction and Rehabilitation departments are not authorized to detain someone based on an ICE detainer since it is NOT a judicial warrant, and no court has directed corrections to detain people beyond their release date.
The State’s Attorney General has advised: “Local officials may not hold someone beyond their State-law release date in the absence of a judicial warrant or probable cause that the subject has committed a crime.” This is based on the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
We continue to follow the legal guidance of the State’s Attorney General, and when a Maryland State judge orders that a suspect can be released, on bond, in cases involving serious crimes, Montgomery County will continue the practice from the prior administration of notifying ICE in advance that the person is being released if there is an ICE request.
The recent Promoting Community Trust Executive Order simply continues the practice of the prior administration. As has been the practice, the County’s Department of Correction and Rehabilitation will notify ICE if the suspects are deemed eligible for release, by a court order. Until then, the suspects will remain in custody until the legal process is complete.
We want the people of Montgomery County to know that our law enforcement and other support agencies are vigilant in enforcing local laws, rules, and regulations. We believe that being an inclusive community for the people who live and work here creates a stronger relationship between communities and our law enforcement agencies, which make our communities safer. ”
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