Clarkston Limits Cooperation With Immigration Officers | WABE 90.1 FM

Clarkston Limits Cooperation With Immigration Officers

May 3, 2017

The Clarkston City Council passed legislation that limits cooperation with federal immigration officers.

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City council members voted unanimously in favor of this measure that adopts a "non-detainer" policy, which means that federal immigration officers can still detain people for immigration violations, but the local police won't get involved. 

"[U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] makes the argument that 'Hey, when you help us, you're helping to get criminals off the street.' Not true," Clarkston City Council member Mario Williams said.

Williams said Clarkston is a diverse city that is known for helping refugees and immigrants. He said unless a crime is committed, local police won't get involved. 

"All we're saying is look, absent of any probably cause, reminding you of the fact that this particular document that you're using to arrest people is not a judicial warrant, we're not going to assist in that process," he said. 

Williams said federal immigration officials threatened Clarkston that passing the bill could affect the city's federal and state funding. But he said that would be unconstitutional. He added that Clarkston is a diverse city that is known for helping refugees and immigrants. 

"The residents of Clarkston came out to air their concerns, making sure undocumented people had that support," City Council member Beverly Burks said.

The Clarkston city police join the DeKalb and Clayton county sheriff's offices which have similar policies.