Fairfield Police Department will not participate in ICE raids

FAIRFIELD — As national news outlets reported plans for large-scale Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids this past weekend, the town’s police department affirmed that it would not participate in any such activities.

In a press release on Friday, the Fairfield Police Department unequivocally stated its position on this national issue. “We will not be participating in any efforts or activities as they relate to the enforcement of immigration within our jurisdiction,” the press release read.

The Police Department noted its commitment to abiding by the Connecticut Trust Act, which the state legislature passed in 2013 to limit local law enforcement’s authority to arrest or detain individuals who are the subject of federal immigration detainers.

Immigration detainers are not arrest warrants, but rather requests from ICE that local law enforcement hold someone believed to be removable under U.S. immigration law. As per the 2013 Connecticut Trust Act, local police can only detain individuals under such detainers if one of seven enumerated “exceptions” are met.

On June 18 of this year, Gov. Ned Lamont signed an amendment to the Act that further limits this authority by reducing the number of exceptions and placing additional restrictions on police’s ability to communicate with ICE. After this amendment, most cases now require an ICE detainer to be accompanied by a judicial warrant for police to enforce it.

In light of the news of plans for increased ICE activities, the Fairfield Police Department reviewed these policies and providing training to ensure that all officers were aware of and abiding by the Connecticut Trust Act.

The Police Department asserted its dedication to serving Fairfield with honesty and integrity. “We pride ourselves on our openness and engagement with the community we serve,” the press release stated. “It remains our responsibility that we reaffirm to the Fairfield community our commitment to provide professional public safety.”

According to The New York Times, fewer ICE raids than originally planned took place over the weekend because news reports had tipped off immigrant communities. Authorities said that arrests would roll out gradually throughout the week rather than in one simultaneous sweep.