What is the ‘Non-Cooperative’ List?

According to reporting from The Mercury News, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has put several Los Angeles jails on its official ‘non-cooperative’ list. Disturbingly, ICE wanted to hold certain undocumented immigrants indefinitely, however, thankfully, some L.A.-area jails refused to comply with this request.

According to the report, multiple Southern California jails, including one in the Van Nuys neighborhood of L.A., rebuffed an ICE request to keep undocumented immigrants beyond their scheduled release date. Here, our Los Angeles immigration lawyers discuss the Trump Administration’s new policy of publishing ‘non-cooperative’ lists, as well as the failed rollout and long-term implications of the policy.  

Understanding the ‘Non-Cooperative’ List

Through an executive order, President Donald Trump ordered ICE to publish official immigration enforcement non-cooperative reports. These reports were scheduled to be released on a weekly basis, and they were officially titled the Declined Detainer Outcome Report. The purpose of the report, shockingly, was nothing more than to ‘name and shame’ organizations and jurisdictions that ICE believes are not being harsh enough on immigrants.

The Non-Cooperative List Quickly Ran Into Major Problems

Donald Trump’s ‘name and shame’ non-cooperative reports are inherently flawed. It is a bad policy idea that unfairly demonizes immigrants and their families. Additionally, the policy idea was also extremely flawed in its execution. On April 11th, 2017, ICE announced that they were indefinitely suspending the weekly publication of their Declined Detainer Outcome Reports. As was reported by The New York Times, the initial wave of reports (of which three were released to the public) were filled with inaccuracies and errors. ICE was even forced to make public apologies to several jurisdictions because false data was published.  

The Consequences for Individuals/Organizations That End Up on the List

As of right now, the consequences of ending up on a ‘non-cooperative’ report are still unclear. Beyond the ‘name and shame’ element, there are many worries that when/if the reports resume, there may be other actions taken against those organizations or individuals who are deemed ‘non-cooperative’ by Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement agency. Further, there have also been vague threats from the administration that some areas may lose federal funding over this issue. Though, the administration’s ability to carry out that threat is far from clear. In late April, a Santa Clara County judge pre-emptively blocked President Trump’s ability to strip sanctuary cities of federal funding.

One thing that is known now is that President Trump’s non-cooperative list is extremely ill-advised. It puts communities and immigrants in a difficult position. Our team will be keeping a very close watch on future developments. While it is still uncertain, ICE may begin releasing these weekly reports again very shortly. There will likely be big political fights occurring in the coming months and years regarding these issues.

We Support Immigrants in Southern California

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our immigration law team is proud to support immigrant rights in California. If you need legal help, please get in touch with our team today to set up your fully confidential initial immigration consultation. We serve immigrants in communities throughout Los Angeles County, including in Burbank, Santa Monica, Cerritos and Glendale.