Las Vegas has become the latest U.S. city to announce that its police department will no longer honor requests from federal immigration officials to detain undocumented immigrants for possible deportation without a court order or arrest warrant.
The statement Monday from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department comes a week after the LAPD announced a similar policy change. Other cities across the nation, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Newark, N.J., and nearly all the major urban centers in California have also recently decided to limit or end their cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Click here to see an ACLU map of which counties in California are no longer honoring ICE ‘holds.’
Authorities in Los Angeles said they stopped honoring ICE ‘holds’ because of questions raised by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and a federal judge in Oregon who found that local authorities violated the 4th Amendment rights of an undocumented immigrant held for two weeks on an ICE hold despite being eligible for release.
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In Las Vegas, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said the decision to stop honoring requests was made in lieu of federal clarification of the issue. “This change has nothing to do with me taking a stand on the immigration issue” said Gillespie. “It has more to do with a situation we’ve found ourselves in and this is the best thing to do until the feds figure it out.”
First published July 14 2014, 4:10 PM
Andrew Blankstein is an investigative reporter for NBC News. He covers the Western United States, specializing in crime, courts and homeland security. Blankstein worked at the Los Angeles Times over two decades, much of that time covering breaking news, law enforcement and the justice system in Southern California both for the paper and latimes.com.
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He was part of the team of journalists that earned the paper Pulitzer Prizes in 1998 for the North Hollywood shootout and in 2004 for the Southern California wildfires. In 2010, he was named a "Distinguished Journalist" by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Blankstein graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in history and a secondary emphasis on public law.
He joined NBC News in 2013 and is based in Los Angeles.