Ruling: State, Local Officers Can't Make Immigration Arrests

Mar 25, 2020

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court says state and local law enforcement officers do not have the authority to arrest people on federal civil immigration detainers.

Wednesday's ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and others against Lincoln County.

Agustin Ramon — a dual resident of Mexico and France — was arrested on a charge of burglary in August 2018.

The Montana Supreme Court seal
Credit State of Montana Supreme Court / State of Montana Supreme Court

He did not post bond because the sheriff said he would comply with a request by the Department of Homeland Security to hold Ramon for another 48 hours on the immigration detainer.

The Supreme Court says continuing to hold someone who could otherwise be released amounts to another arrest that state law enforcement officers do not have the authority to make.