Nassau In The Clear

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As reported recently in Anton Media Group newspapers, Nassau County has been removed from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) regular weekly report on jurisdictions that are not cooperating with that agency on detainer issues. Accordingly, ICE’s second regular list, one for the week of Feb. 4 to Feb. 10, does not have the county as having a noncooperative status or as declining the release of requested detainers.

The first report, one for the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 4, had erroneously listed Nassau County jails as being home to 38 detainers. That error was quickly addressed and the county was assured by ICE officials that the old designation would be removed from future lists—which has turned to be the case.

The weekly reports list counties that released recorded declined detainers from their facilities. That number, for the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. totaled 206 released detainers. Travis County, TX, home to Austin, topped the list with 143 released detainers. For the second week of February, that number dropped to 47 detainers released from facilities nationwide. Of that number, 12 were from New York City, including two from Queens County. The latter two detainers, the report said, were, respectively, from Ecuador (assault conviction) and Mexico (assault charges). The report stated simply that New York City “will not honor ICE detainer.” Travis County had only two released detainers for the week in question.

When Nassau County officials disputed the original ICE report, a spokesman provided the county’s policy concerning ICE detainers are as follows:

• The Nassau County Police Department runs every arrest through a NCIC check to determine if an ICE detainer, administrative hold and/or judicial detainer applies to the alleged criminal. If yes, ICE is notified of the arrest so that processing can begin. If no, ICE will be notified of the arrest when the individual is processed at the Nassau County Correctional Center.

• To facilitate ICE’s work in Nassau County, the sheriff’s office in East Meadow has allowed the agency to have a permanent presence in the county jail—giving agents immediate access to interview inmates.

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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