(CN) – A federal judge in California issued a permanent injunction Friday night that halts Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from targeting immigrants based solely upon flawed information contained in multiple databases.
The injunction, issued by U.S. District Judge Andre Birrote Jr., prevents ICE from solely using information on scattered databases in its requests to law enforcement agencies to detain immigrants in custody who are in the country illegally, up to 48 hours after their scheduled release.
Judge Birrote, in the Central District of California, ruled that the immigration detainers violate the Fourth Amendment due to local law enforcement agencies’ lack of authority to make civil immigration arrests in states that have no laws granting that authority and the issuance of detainers “through the reliance on inaccurate, incomplete, and error-filled databases.”
“While ICE relies on several different databases in an attempt to compile enough information on a subject and make an adequate probable cause determination, the databases used by ICE, which have their limitations detailed herin – standing alone without any additional checks – do not sufficiently establish probable cause of removal,” Birrote wrote in his 37-page order.
The order stems from a long-standing class action lawsuit brought by people who say they were illegally targeted by the detainers, including the lead plaintiff, an American-born man who was detained while he was in custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Judge Birrote said the databases ICE used for the detainers were full of “incomplete data, significan errors, or were not designed to provide information that would be used to determine a person’s removability.”
According to the order, 12,797 detainers were issued between May 2015 and February 2016. Of those, 771 people were let go, with 42 of them being U.S. citizens.
Lawmakers in California have refused to allow ICE to issue detainers in the state, as part of their fight with the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policies.