Decatur approves policy limiting cooperation with ICE


Decatur has adopted a policy limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities amid the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration. 

Approved Friday by City Manager Peggy Merriss, the one-page policy prohibits Decatur police from arresting, detaining or transporting anyone solely on the basis of detainers issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

ICE detainers are requests for jails to hold people for an additional 48 hours — excluding weekends and holidays — so the federal agency may pick them up and attempt to deport them. Critics point to federal court rulings that say jailing people based on ICE detainers can violate their constitutional rights. 

IN-DEPTH: On the road with ICE in Georgia amid Trump’s crackdown

Merriss said her decision Friday codified an unwritten policy Decatur police had been following for more than 10 years. It’s unclear what effect it will have since Decatur doesn’t have its own jail. Asked if the new rules are symbolic, Merriss said “symbolism is for others to decide.” 

“The city was approached by a resident representing a group of city of Decatur residents in early 2017 with a request to implement a policy,” she said in an email. “Through on-going discussions we decided to review our practice and unwritten policy and determined that we would codify into written form what already existed.” 

Her decision follows similar actions by Atlanta’s City Council last month and Clarkston’s City Council in May. 

RELATED: Atlanta Council calls for limiting cooperation with ICE

RELATED: Georgia city votes to limit cooperation with immigration officers

Asked about Decatur’s policy, an ICE spokesman referred to a statement Acting ICE Director Tom Homan issued last month about “sanctuary jurisdictions,” or communities that don’t fully cooperate with his agency. 

“Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor detainers or allow us access to jails and prisons are shielding criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and creating a magnet for illegal immigration,” Homan said. “As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Q&A on the News

Q: Why isn’t the Georgia Dome implosion being done on Sunday? A weekday event disrupts so much of the area. —Dan Wolbe, Sandy Springs A: Today was selected for the implosion because there was an event in the Georgia World Congress Center through Sunday evening, Holly Richmond, director of communications for the Georgia World Congress Center...
Fulton County restaurant inspection scores

Fulton County • Fish Bowl Poke Shop, 61 Broad St., Atlanta. 92/A • La Tavola, 992 Virginia Ave., Atlanta. 96/A • Loca Luna, 550 Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta. 98/A • Minero at Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta. 91/A • Taco Cowboy, 1000 Virginia Ave., Atlanta. 96/A
DeKalb County restaurant inspection scores

DeKalb County • Argosy, 470 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 85/B • Daallo Restaurant, 5047 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain. 87/B • Fox Bros Bar-B-Q, 1238 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta. 96/A • Lucky Thai Restaurant, 1594 Woodcliff Drive, Atlanta. 74/C • Marlie’s Kitchen, 5978 Fairington Road, Lithonia. 93/A
Cobb County restaurant inspection scores

Cobb County • Art’s Bagels & More, 3451 Cobb Parkway, Acworth. 99/A • C&S Seafood & Oyster Bar, 3300 Cobb Parkway, Atlanta. 90/A • Chris’ Caribbean Bistro, 4479 S. Cobb Drive, Smyrna. 73/C • Yellow Tail Sushi, 745 Chastain Road, Kennesaw. 76/C • Zeigler’s BBQ, 3451 Cobb Parkway, Acworth. 100/A
Rockdale County restaurant inspection scores

Rockdale County • Baan Thai Restaurant, 1745 Highway 138, Conyers. 93/A • Chili’s, 1570 Dogwood Drive, Conyers. 96/A • Five Guys, 1550 Highway 138, Conyers. 100/A • Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, 2275 Highway 20, Conyers. 82/B • Main Moon Chinese Restaurant, 1573 Highway 20, Conyers. 89/B
More Stories