Matthew J. Piers, JD, President, Chirag G. Badlani, JD, partner, and Caryn C. Lederer, JD, partner, Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd., in a Jan. 13, 2017 memo to Tom Cochran of the US Conference of Mayors and Darrel W. Stephens of the Major Cities Chief Association, available at, stated:

“Cities and states have various policies regarding local enforcement of federal immigration laws, and the expenditure of local resources on cooperation with ICE enforcement programs. These policies seek to preserve trust between local law enforcement organizations and the communities they serve, which is undermined when individuals fear that local law enforcement will enforce federal immigration laws. These policies also seek to preserve the limited financial resources available to state and local governments. Though they take many forms, these policies include limitations on local law enforcement making arrests based on immigration violations, limitations on local law enforcement gathering information about immigration status, compliance with ICE detainers, and sharing certain information with ICE, including an individual’s custody status or release date from local custody.

Any future efforts by the federal government to limit or defeat these local policies will likely face challenges under the Tenth Amendment and Spending Clause of the Constitution. Any attempts to directly compel local law enforcement to comply with ICE detainers or other enforcement provisions are likely to be struck down. Attempts to cut off all federal funding to jurisdictions with local policies limiting local enforcement will likely be found to exceed Congressional power under the Spending Clause, as will attempts to cut off large, general grants unrelated to immigration enforcement.”

Jan. 13, 2017