Three months after Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) banned Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from accessing a secure portion of the county jail in Maryland, he’s rolling back a portion of the policy.
Elrich reversed the portion of the “Promoting Community Trust Executive Order,” which banned ICE agents from accessing a secure part of the county jail to “ensure that transfers are conducted in a safe environment,” according to ABC 7.
NEW: Three months after MoCo Exec. Marc Elrich banned ICE from secure portions of the jail, Elrich has quietly reversed his policy, in part.— Kevin Lewis (@ABC7Kevin) November 2, 2019
ICE is now allowed in "identified areas" of the jail to "ensure that transfers are conducted in a safe environment," a spokesman told me. pic.twitter.com/6uujMcj548
However, ICE agents will not be able to access those portions of the prison unless they have an immigration detainer and arrive before the defendant’s release.
An ICE agent told Fox News that the agency “lodges detainers on individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens.”
ICE detainers ask law enforcement to inform agents before the release an illegal immigrant and asks them to “maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting.”
According to the revision to the order, if ICE agents do not have the proper paperwork or get caught in traffic, the defendants will be released regardless of the charges against them.
In July, Elrich signed the order barring ICE agents from accessing secure portions of the jail, meaning that federal agents would have to wait for the defendant to be released or rush to the prison in hopes of apprehending illegal immigrants. It also prevented local law enforcement officers from coordinating with ICE agents.
But in the two months after Elrich signed the order, at least nine illegal immigrants were arrested and charged with rape and sexual assault, leading to a public outcry in the form of emails and phone calls to county offices.
ABC 7 reports that despite defending his policy over the summer, Elrich “confessed he was considering rolling back his ICE jail ban.” Eventually, he decided to roll back the ban.
Elrich’s revision to the order still prohibits ICE agents from accessing the secure portions of the prison unless they have a detainer. It also bars ICE agents from going to other county facilities such as libraries, police stations, or recreational facilities.