RI will no longer require warrant for detainers

Rhode Island State House

Rhode Island will no longer require a warrant before the Department of Corrections honors an immigration detainer, pulling back from a policy Gov. Lincoln Chafee instituted a month ago.

Chafee on Thursday signed a new policy that applies to all executive agencies, and requires only a judicial deportation or removal order.

Civil libertarians and immigration advocates said on Friday that the new policy sets a lower legal bar than the one Chafee adopted in July. That policy was put in place after federal courts in Rhode Island and elsewhere ruled detainers violated civil rights, and local governments who enforced them could be held liable.

Steven Brown, of the Rhode Island ACLU, says they are puzzled and disappointed.

Chafee's office says the new policy still requires due process.