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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Pinellas sheriff, feds to announce changes to immigration detention policies

Law enforcement and federal immigration officials will announce today new efforts around the use of immigration detainers.

The detainers, or requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that local jails hold onto people suspected of being in the country illegally after they’re released on local charges, are at the center of a dilemma for sheriffs and jail operators trying to cooperate with federal officials while honoring a detainee’s constitutional rights.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Sheriff Gualtieri taking lead in talks with ICE over immigrant detainees.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who is also a lawyer, has led discussions with ICE officials to work out a legally sound solution in his role representing the National Sheriffs’ Association and Major County Sheriffs of America.

"The vast majority of sheriffs want to cooperate with ICE," Gualtieri told the Tampa Bay Times in June. "We just need a legal way to do it."

The discussions come at a time when the administration of President Donald Trump has prioritized immigration enforcement and called out local jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials.

The news conference will start at 1:30 p.m. at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. In attendance will be Gualtieri, ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and National Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Jonathan Thompson.

This is a developing story. Check back with tampabay.com for updates.

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