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Second Oklahoma lawmaker files bill requiring jails comply with ICE detainers

Another Oklahoma lawmaker filed a bill requiring detention facilities to comply with ICE detainers.

Detainers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency are requests for jails to hold inmates an additional two days after their scheduled release if it is believed that person may have violated immigration law. Whether law enforcement officers are legally able to honor these requests has been hotly debated. 

Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, filed legislation that would not only require jails to honor these detainers but would also fine the facility $50,000 each time the detainers were not complied with. 

“This measure will put teeth behind the requirement that employees at detention facilities across the state comply with federal immigration officers as these situations arise,” Roberts said in a press release. “This bill will ensure that Oklahoma is not a sanctuary state.” 

Rep. John Pfeiffer, R-Orlando, authored a similar bill, saying law enforcement officers felt there was a lack of clarity in the law regarding ICE detainers. 

In the press release, Roberts specifically called out Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor as the reason he felt this bill was necessary. 

Last year, ICE criticized Taylor for his policy on not holding inmates for the additional 48 hours. Taylor has pointed to various court cases where federal judges ruled the detainers unconstitutional, which open counties up to financial liability.  

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