Oklahoma House passes bill requiring county jails comply with ICE detainers
The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Monday requiring county jails to comply with detainer requests from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.
ICE detainers are requests for jails to hold inmates for up to an additional two days after their scheduled release if it is believed that person may have violated immigration law.
But whether law enforcement officers are legally able to honor the requests is in question across the country.
During debate, some House Democrats pointed to lowered reporting of crimes by communities who might fear being removed and increased targeting of individuals of color, as well as noting the bill had no penalties for law enforcement agencies that did not comply.
“You want to curb illegal immigration in the United States? Good news, we have a whole department in the federal government for that,” said Rep. Merleyn Bell, D-Norman. “That is their job. It is not our job.”
Rep. John Pfeiffer, R-Orlando, authored the bill and said his intention was to clear up confusion on how ICE detainers should be handled in the state.
“This is a simple bill that fixes a simple problem,” Pfeiffer said.
The bill passed 78-21. It will now be sent to the Senate.