IRLI filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Miami federal district court defending the March 2017, decision by Miami police to detain a suspected alien they had arrested for assault on a pregnant woman. Miami police held Garland Creedle for deportation as a suspected Honduran criminal alien at the request of federal immigration officers, only to discover that ICE had mistakenly identified Creedle, who was actually a U.S. citizen and should have been released from a Miami jail two days earlier. Creedle then sued Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez for violating his constitutional rights.
Under the Fourth Amendment no arrest can be made unless it was "reasonable" under the circumstances. In January 2017, Miami had reviewed its policies regarding cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and directed the police department to honor immigration detainers for which there was probable cause. Detainers are written requests to hold a suspected illegal alien in custody until ICE can take the alien to an immigration detention center, where a removal hearing will be initiated to determine whether the alien has the right to remain in the U.S. or must be returned to his home country. Removal is not a criminal matter, so removal hearings do not require a criminal trial.
IRLI prepared a detailed briefing for the federal court to help counter a wave of lawsuits that have tried to argue that local police can only arrest an illegal alien when a crime has been committed, and immigration violations are not crimes.
Shortly after the March 2017 arrest, ICE began a policy of attaching a civil arrest warrant to each detainer request, with a legal statement of "probable cause" that an immigration enforcement statute has been violated.
IRLI Files Brief Defending Miami Police Cooperation with ICE, Oct. 2, 2017