photo courtesy of Nick Youngson
Recent Executive Orders by the new administration have struck fear in the hearts of many immigrant families and the people who share their communities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in jurisdictions known as sanctuary cities, which the executive order declares "have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of the Republic". Fear is a great motivator, but how much of this harsh rhetoric is actually based in fact? Criminal defense attorney Toni Messina says contrary to statements by the new administration and its supporters, serious offenders are not being released back into communities. What is actually happening is that at the end of their sentences they are being picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and not being sheltered in sanctuary cities. Messina says, "sanctuary jurisdictions are wiling to comply with ICE detainers just not at the point where the person has merely been arrested and not convicted".
So what rights do such individuals have in the U.S.? Whether they are citizens or not, all people have the right to due process in criminal court as outlined in the Constitution. If an immigrant is arrested rights include:
posted by Amy Levengood