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Decatur says it is putting its policy on cooperation with ICE in writing

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Decatur says it is putting its policy on cooperation with ICE in writing

Photo illustration obtained via https://www.ice.gov/

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Photo illustration obtained via https://www.ice.gov/

This story has been updated. 

A local activist group planned to attend the Oct. 2 City Commission meeting to urge commissioners to adopt a Non-Detainer policy that would limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The policy, being pushed by Hate Free Decatur, would state that city police officers “will not prolong the detention of an immigrant per request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without a judicially issued warrant.”

Here is a copy of the policy:

Chapter 7 Section 3 (D) Immigration Status

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City Manager Peggy Merriss said this has always been the policy and said the city has been working since the Spring to put that policy in writing.

“Due to an incredibly busy summer that required a lot of time from the City Commission, City staff and the City Attorney, we have just completed codifying what we have been doing for at least 11+ years since Chief Booker taking office,” Merriss said. “Hate Free Decatur was not involved in any way with codifying the existing practices of the City of Decatur Police Department into the standard operating procedures.  Any assertion that they did is a misrepresentation”

Merriss said the City Commission does not manage the Police Department or approve its standard operating procedures.

“Policies are drafted and reviewed by the City Attorney and myself and are approved by the City Manager,” Merriss said. “The City Commission does not approve changes to any departmental policies, including the Police Department.”

Hate Free Decatur, which has also been behind efforts to remove a Confederate monument from the Decatur Square, plans to hold a press conference at 7:30 p.m. this evening to discuss issue.

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