Military and Police

Elected Sheriff In Florida Refuses to Follow Immigration Orders From ICE

“She has already shown she doesn’t care about national security, our safety, or following the laws of this country.”

I read the ICE Report that listed the ‘Sanctuary Cities and Counties’ that do not honor the requests of ICE to hold illegal immigrants. I was shocked (not really) to see my county listed in the top 10 in the nation for failing to comply with those requests!

The Sheriff in my county, Alachua County in North Central Florida, is Sheriff Sadie Darnell, a Democrat.  She said in a recent news article on this topic, “We do get a reasonable amount of (federal funds) — a couple of million dollars, I am not going to enforce a civil request, which is what a detainer is.” The Sheriff’s Office is the one law enforcement division in Florida that has a Civil Division and serves people in the county with any civil documents they are “ordered” to by the courts.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office does notify ICE when a foreign person is arrested. But the Sheriff’s Office will not hold the person beyond a typical release. Sheriff Darnell said that she requires a judge’s order, or a criminal warrant, before she will hold them. What I think she is missing is that the person detained is NOT A U.S. CITIZEN, and as such, has very limited rights under U.S. law. Immigration proceedings are matters of administrative law, not criminal law. Congress has authority to regulate immigration without interference from the courts. Because immigration is considered a matter of national security, the Supreme Court has long held that immigration law is largely immune from judicial review.

In 1952’s Harisiades v. Shaughnessy judgement, the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) affirmed the right of Congress to expel non-citizens. “In recognizing this power and this responsibility of Congress, one does not in the remotest degree align oneself with fears unworthy of the American spirit or with hostility to the bracing air of the free spirit,” Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote in his concurrence, “One merely recognizes that the place to resist unwise or cruel legislation touching aliens is the Congress, not this Court.” Illegal Immigrants facing deportation have some rights; one is to have a hearing before an Immigration Judge. The problem is, by not complying with ICE’s request, the Sheriff is denying the immigrant a hearing and process.

The Sheriff does not have the right to ignore civil requests from ICE. Ignoring such requests is like ignoring the civil documents that her own Deputies go out and serve every day. I bet she wouldn’t think that was legal.

It pains me to live in the shadow of such illegal and dangerous behavior. County and local city officials have publicly stated that they stand by her decision to ignore the civil request. With almost $4 million in federal funds coming to the county, if the federal government decides to withhold that funding who will make up the difference? The taxpayers of course.

So I say to all of those like the good Sheriff that thinks it’s OK to ignore some laws and not others – you are a law enforcement officer. You have sworn to uphold the laws of the state you are in, as well as the Constitution of the United States. That includes following the lawful, legal, and quite frankly necessary requests of other law enforcement agencies. I am sure if the Feds told the Sheriff they were not honoring any of her civil requests for assistance or procedures, she might begin to see things differently. Well then again – maybe not. She has already shown she doesn’t care about national security, our safety, or following the laws of this country.

Chris Wagoner

Chris Wagoner is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and U.S. Army Veteran. He has been in law enforcement the last 35+ years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction, and is in charge of a large Police Academy in North Florida. In his spare time Chris is a freelance writer and posts his articles on "Down Range with Chris Wagoner".

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