Posted in Our Blog on May 17, 2013
Hats off! to Councilmen James Gray and LaToya Cantrell of the New Orleans City Council, who sponsored a resolution demanding accountability and transparency from Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office when detaining suspected illegal immigrants in jail longer than necessary. The resolution passed 6-0 and, per Richard Rainey of The Times-Picayune: “…demanded he [Gusman] stop keeping immigrants or suspected immigrants in jail just because federal immigration officials suspect they might be in the country illegally.”
It is simply outrageous that a law enforcement agency could keep somebody in jail after they have posted bond and should otherwise be allowed to leave, if an outside agency suspects they are in the country illegally. Kudos to the City Council for demanding that Gusman and the Sheriff’s Office agree to ignore the legally-perilous wishes of ICE (the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency). Gusman said that he would “consider” the resolution.
Let’s hope that Sheriff Gusman does more than “consider” it, and heeds it, showing proper respect to the City Council and the susepcted-but NOT charged-immigrants being detained. This is a measure that simply makes sense-Sheriff Gusman must either agree to ignore ICE orders for detaining suspected illegal immigrants without charging them of same, OR spell out exactly under which conditions he will detain suspected illegal immigrants. The Council is asking, in essence, for transparency. And that is something we desperately need from our law enforcement officials. That this resolution would also save a substantial amount of public money by not forcing jails to house these individuals would simply be icing on the cake.