Sedgwick County will not detain suspects for immigration agents

WICHITA, Kansas – The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department says it will not automatically detain suspects for immigration agents.

For years, Immigration Customs Enforcement or ICE has worked with local sheriff’s departments to hold a suspect that may be in the country illegally.

KSN looked into how it works.

When local authorities arrest a person for any crime, they’re booked in jail.

If ICE agents think that the suspect might be an illegal immigrant, they ask local officers to keep that person behind bars long enough to give them a chance to determine if that person is here legally or not up to 48 hours.

Recently, a U.S. Appeals Court decided ICE can only request and not mandate a jail to keep someone after their criminal issues are resolved.

On Wednesday, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department said it will not automatically hold those detainees for ICE agents.

“If we hold them longer than what they are already there for, if we hold them for any time just for ICE detainer, we could be civilly liable for that. I don’t know if taxpayers want to pay for that,” said Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter.

On Tuesday, Finney, Shawnee and Johnson counties made the decision to no longer automatically comply with ICE.

The ACLU also asked Barton, Saline, Riley, Seward and Ford County to also stop the practice.

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