Must be campaign season. Las Vegas police is helping federal officials capture undocumented immigrants jailed for nonviolent crimes. Illegal immigration is a top campaign issue for Republicans heading into the primaries in 2022, including Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who is running for governor. Many support deporting undocumented immigrants with any kind of criminal record, while Lombardo’s campaign promotes a “zero-tolerance policy for violent criminals.” This is a regular conservative position.
ICE agents in Nevada are authorized to enforce immigration laws and remove illegal aliens. The ACLU of Nevada have issued the following statements: “This is the right decision for the state’s largest law enforcement agency. It’s not just inappropriate for Nevada agencies to participate in the federal government’s deportation agenda, but it’s unconstitutional as well. We’ll continue to advocate for the rights of our immigrant communities, and will engage with other police agencies around the state to end their partnerships with ICE, ” said ACLU of Nevada Executive Director Tod Story.
ICE has flagged more than 800 inmates since the current policy took effect, OcampoGomez said. Metro does not track how many inmates the federal agency takes into custody. Under the now abandoned 287(g) program, Metro employees were deputized to act as immigration officers and alerted ICE of inmates wanted for deportation. The jail also honored ICE “detainers,” which allowed them to hold an inmate for 48 hours after their release date at the federal agency’s request.
While ICE typically apprehends undocumented immigrant inmates as they exit the jail, there is no rule forbidding agents from taking them into custody inside the jail, said Hadfield, the Metro spokesman.“If they are there and the inmate is being released, they can take them into custody,” he said.
An estimated 180,000 undocumented immigrants lived in the Las Vegas metro area as of 2016, according to the Pew Research Center. That was about 8.2 percent of the population, one of the highest rates in the United States and more than double the national average.