FAIRFIELD -- Cities like New Haven and Hartford, have long called themselves sanctuary cities, and said they would not assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in arresting or detaining illegal aliens with deportation orders.
Now, the Fairfield Police Department has followed suit.
Six years ago a law called the Trust Act took affect in Connecticut which limited state and local law enforcement’s participation in supporting ICE’s efforts to round up and deport these individuals.
And on the heels of last weeks word that ICE would begin raids across the nation, Fairfield police announced Monday “we will not be participating in any efforts or activities as they relate to the enforcement of immigration within our jurisdiction.”
In 2013, when Connecticut’s Trust Act became law, any law-enforcement agency in state could only arrest or detain illegal aliens, wanted for removal from the United States, if one of seven parameters were met. Now, the list has been reduced to three exceptions.
“One of them is a court order signed by a judicial official,” said Capt. Robert Kalamaras, of the Fairfield Police Department. “Number two! If that person is convicted of a class A or B felony. And, the third is that they’re on a terrorist watch list.”
But, Kalamaras says in certain situations, FPD might assist ICE.
“We would need a judicial warrant in order for them, in order for us to assist them in taking that person into custody or at least detaining that person for them,” he said.
Capt. Kalamaras says each of their officers has been trained on the particulars of the Trust Act and, if they arrest someone that is on an ICE detainer, their in-car computer screen will let them know.
“The local police already has a lot on their hands,” said Christian Rivano, a Fairfield business owner, who is a native of Chile, and has no problem with Fairfield police taking this stance. However, he believes immigration laws need to be followed.
“I think that for immigration to really take place the way it should, we’ve got to take into consideration that there is a process that needs to be taking place,” Rivano said.