Late yesterday, Attorney General Ken Paxton moved to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of Texas, supporting the right and duty of Dallas County and Sheriff Lupe Valdez to detain individuals pursuant to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) federal detainer program. The program is primarily designed to enforce federal immigration law and prevent dangerous criminals from being released into communities.
Two years ago, Sheriff Valdez was targeted with two federal civil rights lawsuits by 23 plaintiffs. Those plaintiffs alleged that she violated their constitutional rights by detaining them pending transfer to ICE. The two cases were later consolidated, and, in January, a federal court in Dallas dismissed part of the plaintiffs’ case. However, the court allowed the case to move forward on whether Dallas County violated the Constitution by complying with ICE detainers.
In his intervention, Attorney General Paxton points to the ongoing cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement to protect Texas communities.
“Governments throughout Texas have a duty under Texas law, and cooperative agreements with the federal government, to hold undocumented and suspected criminal aliens pursuant to ICE detainers,” Attorney General Paxton said. “This is a public safety issue. If a Texas sheriff cannot lawfully honor an ICE detainer, dangerous people may slip through the cracks of the justice system and back into the community.”
To view a copy of the intervention, click here.