An Act To Protect the Liberty of Immigrants and Asylum Seekers in Maine
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA c. 337-D is enacted to read:
MAINE LIBERTY ACT
§ 4721. Short title
This chapter may be known and cited as "the Maine Liberty Act."
§ 4722. Legislative findings and purpose
The Legislature finds and declares that immigrants are valuable and essential members of the community of the State. A relationship of trust between the State's immigrant community and state and local agencies is central to the public safety and well-being of the people of the State. This trust is threatened when state and local agencies are entangled with federal immigration enforcement programs, resulting in immigrant community members being afraid to approach police when they are victims of and witnesses to crimes, seek basic health services or attend school. The entanglement of state and local agencies with federal immigration enforcement programs diverts limited resources and blurs the lines of accountability between local, state and federal governments. State and local participation in federal immigration enforcement programs also raises concerns under the United States Constitution, including the prospect that residents of the State could be detained in violation of Amendment IV, targeted on the basis of race or ethnicity in violation of the equal protection clause of Amendment XIV or denied access to education based on immigration status. This Act seeks to ensure effective policing, protect the safety, well-being and constitutional rights of the people of the State and direct the State's limited resources to matters of greatest concern to the State and the local governments of the State.
§ 4723. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 4724. Prohibited activities of law enforcement
(1) Inquiring into a person's immigration status;
(2) Detaining a person on the basis of a hold request;
(3) Providing information regarding the person's release date unless that information is available to the public;
(4) Providing personal information about the person, including the person's home address or work address;
(5) Making or intentionally participating in an arrest based upon a hold request;
(6) Assisting immigration authorities in activities described in 8 United States Code, Section 1357(a)(3); or
(7) Performing the functions of an immigration authority;
With the exception of willful or wanton misconduct, a law enforcement agency that acts in good faith compliance with this section in releasing a person subject to a hold request is immune from civil or criminal liability as a result of making the release.
(1) The primary purpose of the joint law enforcement task force is not immigration enforcement;
(2) The enforcement or investigative duties are primarily related to a violation of state or federal law unrelated to immigration enforcement; and
(3) Participation in the task force by the law enforcement agency does not violate any state or local law or policy to which the agency is subject;
(1) Has been convicted of a felony;
(2) Is subject to pending criminal charges when bail has not been set;
(3) Is subject to an outstanding arrest warrant;
(4) Is identified as a possible match in the federal terrorist screening database or similar database;
(5) Is subject to a final order of deportation or removal issued by a federal immigration authority; or
(6) Presents an unacceptable risk to public safety as determined by the law enforcement agency.
(1) The purpose of the task force;
(2) The federal, state and local law enforcement agencies involved;
(3) The total number of arrests made during the reporting period; and
(4) The total number of arrests made for immigration enforcement purposes during the reporting period; and
A report under this subsection is a public record under Title 1, chapter 13 except for personally identifying information of a person or information that may endanger the safety of a person involved in an investigation or the successful completion of an investigation.
§ 4725. Duties of custodial law enforcement agencies
§ 4726. Model policies and guidance
§ 4727. Records
This bill establishes the Maine Liberty Act, which governs the relationship of state and local law enforcement agencies, including correctional facilities, with federal immigration authorities, including:
1. Prohibiting a law enforcement agency from stopping, investigating, interrogating, arresting or detaining a person solely for immigration enforcement purposes, including in response to a hold request, immigration detainer or administrative warrant issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or allowing the United States Department of Homeland Security access to inmates, inmate information or law enforcement agency facilities or providing law enforcement agency resources or personnel to assist immigration enforcement activities;
2. Clarifying that a law enforcement agency upon a request from the United States Department of Homeland Security may arrest and detain a person and perform other law enforcement duties due to suspected criminal activity or other reasons not solely based on the person's immigration status;
3. Establishing the permissible scope of collaboration of a law enforcement agency with a joint law enforcement task force and requiring reporting to the Attorney General on all arrests made by the task force, including all arrests made for immigration enforcement purposes;
4. Requiring a law enforcement agency to release as soon as possible and detain no longer than 48 hours a person determined to be held solely for immigration enforcement purposes;
5. Establishing duties and prohibitions for law enforcement agencies regarding immigration issues of inmates, including requiring the agency to inform an inmate of the inmate's rights prior to interview by an immigration authority and whether the agency intends to comply with a hold request and prohibiting an agency from restricting access to educational programming and good conduct credits or determining an inmate's custodial status based upon the inmate's immigration status;
6. Requiring the Attorney General to publish a model policy regarding limiting assistance to immigration authorities in public facilities and publish guidance, audit criteria and training recommendations to ensure that a database operated by a state or local law enforcement agency limits the availability of database information to immigration authorities; and
7. Requiring a law enforcement agency to record certain information regarding hold requests and certain other information from immigration authorities received by the agency and to report quarterly to the Attorney General on this information.