Promoting Healthy Relationships Between Police and Immigrant Communities

July 06, 2016

Local police can best protect their communities if they have strong relationships with those communities.  Unfortunately, some police departments undermine trust in immigrant neighborhoods by acting as proxy deportation agents, even though the Supreme Court has made clear that local police cannot arrest and detain individuals for civil immigration violations.  Local police who become entangled with immigration enforcement are not only likely to engage in racial profiling, but may illegally detain people based simply on requests from immigration authorities, rather than on the necessary judicial warrants.  In order to educate local law enforcement about the important policy concerns and the complicated legal issues that arise when police act as immigration officers, the ACLU of Michigan and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center developed an issue brief on these questions and distributed it to every sheriff’s department in the state in July 2016. 

(ACLU Attorney Miriam Aukerman; Susan Reed and Anna Hill of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.)