David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy

Professor Eagly Discusses "Sanctuary" City Policies in Los Angeles Daily Journal Article

July 15, 2015 -- Professor Ingrid Eagly discussed the city of San Francisco's  policy of refusing to detain people sought by the U.S. immigration service. Her comments appear in a Los Angeles Daily Journal article.

But there are Fourth Amendment issues at stake, said Ingrid Eagly, professor at UCLA School of Law. The key issue, Eagly said, is that an immigration detainer, such as the one submitted for Kathyn Steinle's alleged killer, is a request that the municipality hold a non-citizen to be transferred into federal custody. If that detainer request is not accompanied by a finding of probable cause or a warrant, then it does not comply with the Fourth Amendment.

"They can make a request, but the city is placed in a very difficult position," Eagly said. "If the city complies without having a request that meets Fourth Amendment requirements, then the city could potentially be liable for violating the Fourth Amendment rights of the person they're detaining."

News coverage of the Steinle killing has predominantly focused on the policies of sanctuary cities, but in this particular case, that's not the core issue - the legality of detainer requests is, Eagly said.

"ICE is claiming that the suspect should have been transferred to ICE custody, but used a detainer form, knowing that San Francisco has a policy that they're not going to honor detainer requests."

Read more (subscription required).