Local police play a critical role in protecting and serving Michigan’s immigrant communities. However, local police confront particular challenges in this area: they must comply with legal requirements in the immigration field that are complex and can change frequently, leaving local law enforcement exposed to potential legal liability. At the same time, relationships between immigrant communities and law enforcement are all too often frayed, in part because some police agencies engage in practices that lead to community distrust. Some of those practices are also illegal.
In response to these concerns, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) have developed this Issue Brief to answer common questions that local law enforcement agencies face in their relationships with immigrant communities.