Report: LA County spends $26 million a year to hold undocumented immigrants under Secure Communities

Southern California Public Radio 89.3 KPCC
By: Ruxandra Guidi
Published: August 23, 2012
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A new report finds that Los Angeles County spends $26 million a year to detain undocumented immigrants for the federal Secure Communities program.

Here’s how Secure Communities works: When local law enforcement makes any arrest, the detainees' fingerprints are sent to a federal database. If the person is deportable, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will ask local law enforcement to keep the person in detention for no more than 48 hours, until federal agents can transfer that person to one of its facilities.

Related Publication

JS Publication August 23, 2012

The Cost of Responding to Immigration Detainers in California

In our criminal justice system, detainers to hold individuals wanted by law enforcement agencies are issued by judges after they have reviewed the underlying circumstances leading to the request. Immigration detainers, or “ICE holds” are issued by ICE administrative officials without the benefit of judicial review. In this preliminary report, based on data from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Justice Strategies finds that the cost to Los Angeles of complying with these administrative requests is more than $26 million annually.