ACLU warns the Counties and State of Hawaiʻi of significant risks associated with being part of Trump’s deportation force
- State of Hawai‘i letter
- Honolulu City Council letter
- Kaua‘i County letter
- Maui County letter
- Hawai‘i County letter
Honolulu, Hawai‘i: In the face of growing Federal pressure for local law enforcement to get drafted in Trump’s deportation force, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaiʻi Foundation (“ACLU”) sent letters to State and all County officials, warning lawmakers about how being part of Trump’s deportation force creates significant risks for them and their communities. And, the ACLU has offered its legal assistance to help counter threats from the President and other ranking Capitol officials.
As part of a coordinated nationwide campaign spanning twelve states, the ACLU is focused on two policies of immediate concern: (1) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) detainers, which ask local law enforcement to hold people in jail for an additional 48 hours, often without legal authority or probable cause, and (2) participation in the controversial 287(g) program, which allows the Federal government to deputize local police as ICE agents without appropriate training or resources, often resulting in racial profiling and civil rights violations. While both programs are voluntary for state and counties, they are both bad ideas. These programs do not advance local police priorities, harm police-community relations, and carry significant costs, all while exposing local governments to lawsuits and civil rights complaints.
Legal Director Mateo Caballero said “People across the country are urging local governments to stand up to Trump’s dangerous immigration agenda, which seeks to indiscriminately tear communities and families apart. We must instead uphold and renew our founding commitments to diversity, inclusiveness, and opportunity. Our neighbors should feel safe reporting crime, be it domestic violence, burglaries, or hate crimes. We urge the counties and the State of Hawai’i to put local communities and the constitution first and refuse becoming accomplices to the Administration’s future civil rights abuses.”
The mission of the Hawai‘i affiliate of the ACLU is to protect the civil liberties contained in the state and federal constitutions through litigation, legislative and public education programs statewide. The ACLU is funded primarily through private donations and offers its services at no cost to the public. The ACLU does not accept any government funds.