Harvard Crimmigration Clinic files amicus brief in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court case challenging validity of ICE detainers

Posted by Tess Hellgren, JD ’18, and Emma Rekart, JD ’17

The Crimmigration Clinic at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program recently filed an amicus curiae brief in support of a lawsuit arguing that it is unlawful for state law enforcement agencies to arrest and detain an individual in Massachusetts solely for immigration enforcement purposes.

The appellant, Sreynuon Lunn, is represented by the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the National Immigrant Justice Center.  Mr. Lunn argues that compliance with a request to arrest and detain an individual for immigration purposes violates both Massachusetts and federal law because these “ICE detainer requests” lack sufficient due process protections.

In its brief, the Crimmigration Clinic argues that Massachusetts law enforcement officials are not authorized to arrest and detain individuals pursuant to an ICE Detainer request because the Massachusetts legislature has not granted such authority.  Unlike several other civil arrest statutes in Massachusetts, ICE Detainer Requests fail to provide even basic due process protections, such as notice, findings of particularized facts, and oversight by a judge or neutral arbiter.