ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings addressed claims Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that Florida sheriff’s offices are not cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Demings, the president of the Florida Sheriffs Association, hosted a news conference Tuesday about local immigration enforcement along with other Florida sheriffs from Alachua and Pinellas counties.
Several Florida law-enforcement agencies were recently singled out for not complying with ICE’s requests the in the weekly “detainer outcome report” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security to issue the reports, called the Weekly Declined Detainer Outcome Report, in an executive order in January, according to CNN.
According to the report, the top 10 non-cooperating counties for declined detainers are Clark County, Nevada; Nassau County, New York; Cook County, Illinois; Montgomery County, Iowa; Snohomish County, Washington; Franklin County, New York; Washington County, Oregon; Alachua County, Florida; Franklin County, Iowa; and Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
St. Lucie County in Florida was also listed among jurisdictions that declined an ICE detainer, according to the report.
According to the ICE, Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell will only honor an ICE detainer with a judicial order or criminal warrant.
The sheriffs at the news conference Tuesday said they can only honor the detainers "within the law."
Darnell said there is no "rhyme or reason" why her county was called out by ICE.
"We have asked repeatedly for someone from the federal side to explain to us how the report is filed, on what bases," Darnell said. "No one has replied."
All the sheriffs expressed frustration, because they said they are following the law.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said law-enforcement agencies have been fined for holding illegal immigrants based on ICE warrants.
"Some of the judgments against the sheriffs have been over six figures for doing what ICE asked them to do," Gualtieri said.
“They can’t honor the detainer, because the law doesn’t allow it,” Gualtieri said.