By Bob Katzen
Last week the House voted 119-34 and upheld the ruling of Acting House Speaker Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset) that prohibited consideration of an amendment that would authorize police officers, court officers and other law enforcement officers to detain a person under certain circumstances, at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the grounds that there is probable cause that such person is a removable illegal alien.
This would apply only in those cases where an individual has already been arrested and is about to be released from custody or is deemed to pose a threat to public safety because he or she has engaged in terrorism or has been convicted of a serious crime such as a felony, human trafficking or drug trafficking. The amendment also restricts the amount of time an individual can be detained to no more than 12 hours.
The amendment was filed in response to a July decision by the state’s highest court which ruled that state local law enforcement officials do not have the authority to detain a person based solely on a request from ICE.
Haddad ruled that the amendment is not properly before the House because it was not included in any earlier versions of the bill and introduction of this new subject-matter would expand upon the bill and violate House rules.
Supporters of the ruling said the ruling is appropriate and follows the rules of the House.
Opponents of the ruling said clearly the issue of arresting and holding illegal immigrants is related to a bill making changes in the criminal justice system.
(A “Yes” vote is for the ruling. A “No” vote is against it.)
Rep. Christine Barber Yes Rep. Mike Connolly Yes Rep. Denise Provost Yes