MONTGOMERY CO., MD (WUSA9) - New in the immigration debate: Montgomery County to ‘tweak’ how it responds to ICE detainers after Alvarado case.
Earlier in the day, when WUSA9’s Scott Broom went to Albert Einstein High School in North Kensington, Md., he says a lot of the complaints surrounding the Alvarado case were around why a judge let someone charged like Alvarado, out on just $2,000 bond.
WUSA9 asked the Montgomery County Executive’s response to this.
“I’m not going to second guess the judge,” said Leggett who met with us in Rockville. The Montgomery County Executive went on to say, “It’s not so much a safety question of whether he’s released on bond. It’s a question of, I think you have, whether or not we will cooperate with ICE much more fully…”
Yes, is the short answer. But Leggett says he’s still not planning to have the county honor every ICE detainer launched after this. Why? A CASA immigration attorney says honoring detainers sometimes means holding someone past their release date and in Maryland, that’s considered a 4th Amendment issue.
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“You have the protection not to be held without probable cause. And so ICE detainers don’t meet that standard of establishing probable cause. They’re not signed by a judge. They don’t have to demonstrate that you’ve committed any crime,” said Nick Katz. He’s the Senior Manager at Legal Services as the immigrant activists group, CASA.
Both men claim if you honor every detainer, you hurt public safety.
“Because if someone believes that by interacting with the criminal justice system, they’re going to get put into a pipeline to deportation, they’re not going to report crimes,” said Katz.
“It was a mistake and we should have honored the detainer," the County’s Department of Corrections Director partly said in a statement.
Leggett doesn’t call it a mistake, but does say the case fell through the cracks.
“Basically means that we are going to go back and look at this and make sure that we have charges similar to this, that our policy will reflect that we will in fact cooperate with ice going forward,” said County Executive, Leggett.
Alvarado is now being held at the Howard County Detention Center in Jessup Maryland. He also had a trial date scheduled for June 16, 2017.
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