Cooperation w/Federal Immigration Agents and Agencies

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I.          POLICY

It is the policy of the City of Greenbelt Police Department (GPD) to acknowledge that Greenbelt is a diverse community with citizens living together in a spirit of cooperation.  The Police Department strives to be open and treat all individuals with respect, compassion, and courtesy, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

II.         GENERAL PRINCIPLES

  1. GPD officers have no statutory authority to enforce civil violations of federal immigration laws. Criminal investigations or enforcement shall never be initiated based solely upon an individual’s citizenship or immigration status.

  2. Officers shall not ask about immigration status except in rare circumstances such as the investigation of suspected criminal activity including, but not limited to, human trafficking, terrorist activity, and gang violence.

  3. Officers may offer individuals referral to services, including, but not limited to, T or U visa information, language services, appropriate community organizations, assisting with consular contacts, etc.

  4. GPD officers may be assigned to federal task forces and are permitted to assist with investigations when the primary focus of the task force or investigation does not involve the enforcement of federal civil immigration violations. Task forces may include, but are not limited to, human trafficking, terrorist acts, narcotics, child pornography, money laundering, hate crimes, etc.

  5. GPD officers may respond to requests for assistance or remain on the scene of any federal warrant service or investigation to assist with officer or public safety or scene security.

  6. GPD officers shall not confiscate Permanent Resident Cards/Documents (aka “green cards”), Employment Authorization Cards, or any other residency status, citizenship, or immigration documents unless the officer has reason to believe the documents are altered or counterfeit with fraudulent intent, indicative of a violation of applicable statutes involving the possession of fraudulent government identification documents (CR 8-303 of the Maryland Annotated Code)

III. DEFINITIONS

  1. Civil Immigration Order/Detainer/Warrant
    An administrative order or warrant issued by an immigration official for suspected civil violations of the immigration law, i.e. visa violations, illegal entry, or unauthorized arrival and those subject to deportation and removal. GPD officers do not have the legal authority to enforce civil violations of immigration law.

  2. Criminal Warrant
    A judicial order signed by a judge or magistrate that authorizes a law enforcement officer to take a person into custody.

  3.  Deported Felon
    An individual who has been officially deported after conviction of an aggravated   felony as defined in 8 USC 1101(a)(43).

  4. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
    The federal agency charged with enforcing federal laws governing border control, trade, and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety. ICE consists of three directorates: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO); and Management and Administration (M&A).

  5. Immigration Violator File (IVF)
    1. A file within the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) that contains records on deported felons, undocumented residents with outstanding administrative warrants of removal, and absconders.

      a. The Deported Felon category contains records for previously deported felons convicted and deported for drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, or other aggravated felonies as defined in 8 USC 1101(a)(43) (criminal violation – enforceable by GPD).

      b. The Absconder category contains records for individuals with outstanding administrative warrants of removal from the United States who have unlawfully remained (civil immigration violations – not enforceable by GPD)

    2. An Immigration Violator File response includes guidance to the local law enforcement agency on handling the response.

  6. T Visa / U Visa
    Types of nonimmigrant visas issued to victims of certain crimes and their immediate family members who have qualified under federal law and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation and/or prosecution of the criminal activity.     

IV.        UNDOCUMENTED RESIDENT VICTIMS AND WITNESSES

  1. All victims and witnesses shall be afforded the rights and services outlined in General Order 654, Victim Witness Assistance, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

  2. Individuals will be provided with the Prince George’s County Guide for Victims and Witnesses.

  3. The GPD is committed to assisting qualifying applicants in the completion of the T or U visa application process. Detailed information on the T or U visa process and required federal forms are available from the U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration Service at www.uscis.gov.  Any request to prepare federal form I-918 or I-914, as applicable, shall be forwarded to the Office of the Chief of Police for processing.

 

V.         NCIC RESPONSES

If during an officer’s routine computer check one of the following alerts is received through METERS/NCIC, officers shall proceed as follows:

  1. If an individual is wanted on an outstanding criminal arrest warrant, the officer shall confirm the warrant and proceed in accordance with General Oder 638, Arrest Procedures.

  2. If the officer is alerted to contact the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC), he shall make contact to determine or confirm the nature of the alert.

  3. Individuals shall not be detained any longer than is necessary to complete the initial contact or stop for which the officer has jurisdiction.

  4. Officers are prohibited from detaining an individual based solely on an immigration civil detainer, administrative order or administrative/non judicial warrant.

  5. If an individual is listed in the Immigration Violator File (IVF) as a deported felon and ICE confirms the status, the officer shall make a warrantless felony arrest pursuant to the authority of 8 U.S.C. 1252c and transport the individual to Central Booking for processing.

VI.        ARREST PROCEDURES

  1. When an individual is physically arrested, officers will follow the procedures and protocols outlined in General Order 638, Arrest Procedures.

  2. After transport of the arrestee to the Central Booking Facility, the officer shall complete an arrest report. 

*****END OF POLICY*****