CHICAGO

Cook County Commissioners Want ICE Noncompliance Ordinance Reversed

01/18/2012 11:56 am 11:56:08

Days after Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle renewed her commitment to opting the county out of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detentions, three commissioners have submitted amendments they plan to argue at Wednesday's board meeting that would make the county more compliant with federal mandates.

The ordinance instituted in September forbade the county from detaining offenders flagged by ICE after they had served the time required for the crime that brought them into police custody unless ICE issued a criminal warrant or footed the bill, part of an effort to avoid staggering costs of detaining individuals who would otherwise be released. ICE officials frequently require more than the two allotted detention days to respond to individual cases, racking up huge fees for the county and often infringing on the rights of individuals who would not otherwise remain in custody.

Commissioner Timothy Schneider (R-Bartlett), who already submitted an amendment to the board that clarified the sheriff's freedom to communicate with ICE about offenders on detention lists, is reportedly planning to submit a new amendment with more teeth that would require the sheriff to abide by ICE detention requests.

The county ordinance has been thrust into the spotlight by the Saul Chavez case, where an undocumented immigrant in custody for a DUI homicide vanished after posting bond, despite an ICE detainer request on his name. Preckwinkle urged the county to use this case to correct problems in the bond court system, not the ICE ordinance.

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