IRLI Files Brief Defending Tennessee Sheriff in Lawsuit Brought by Alien for Wrongful Detention

Press Releases

June 30, 2017

Ensuring the safety and security of our communities

Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed an amicus curiae brief (attached here) in a lawsuit brought by an alien challenging his detention by Davidson County, Tennessee Sheriff Daron Hall pursuant to a hold request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE had arrested the alien, Abdullah Abriq, and requested the Sheriff to hold him for a short time while removal proceedings to expel him from the United States were pending.

In the case of Abriq v. Hall, Abriq sued Sheriff Hall, Davidson County, and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville, claiming that his detention was unconstitutional and it violated federal and state law. IRLI showed in its brief filed today, however, that federal law expressly provides for cooperation between immigration authorities and state and local jurisdictions, including detaining aliens subject to removal.

IRLI’s brief also explained that a formal written agreement is not necessary for any state or local jurisdiction to cooperate with ICE. Finally, IRLI argued that if Tennessee law requires such an agreement, federal law preempts it because the law would thwart congressional objectives and Congress has occupied the field of federal, state, and local cooperation.

IRLI’s Executive Director Dale L. Wilcox commented, “ICE has just 20,000 employees, only half of which are dedicated to the apprehension and removal of aliens. The cooperation of state and local police forces, which number about 800,000 strong, is vital for ICE to accomplish its statutorily mandated mission to protect the American people and administer a fair and uniform system of immigration.” Wilcox continued, “As Congress clearly intended such cooperation in federal law, this case has no merit and should be dismissed.”

For additional information, contact: Jade Haney • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.