Metcalfe Introduces Legislation to Require State and Local Law Enforcement to Detain Illegal Aliens
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Majority Chairman, Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), today announced the introduction of his legislation that would require state and local law enforcement agencies to fully comply with federal law and cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the capture and detainment of illegal aliens.

“The very real public safety concern addressed by this legislation is an unlawful breakdown that is occurring within state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the country,” said Metcalfe. “It is also becoming one of great concern across this Commonwealth, especially in the City of Philadelphia where Mayor Michael Nutter has already signed an executive order prohibiting Philadelphia law enforcement from complying with ICE detainers when the law enforcement agency arbitrarily determines that the individual does not pose a serious risk. This is in addition to his unlawful executive actions to impose unconstitutional local gun control while decriminalizing marijuana possession within city limits.”

Specifically, House Bill 2524 would require state and local law enforcement agencies to maintain custody of illegal aliens and other individuals who are placed under an ICE detainer for up to 48 hours beyond when such individuals could otherwise be released.

“Unlawfully ignoring the federal government’s determination that an illegal alien should not be returned to the community and releasing that individual without giving the federal government the opportunity to take custody is not sound public policy,” said Metcalfe. “It is an abuse of power that poses a legitimate risk to both public safety and potentially our national security. If the federal government has already determined that an individual poses a significant threat and should not be returned to the community, neither Mayor Nutter nor any other member of Philadelphia law enforcement should have the authority to overrule that determination.”

Pursuant to federal law and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ICE may issue a detainer for an illegal alien and a variety of other individuals who are in the custody of a state and local law enforcement agency. The purpose of the detainer is to allow ICE the opportunity to take federal custody of individuals, including, but not limited to:

• Illegal aliens who have committed specified criminal offenses related to controlled substances or types of criminal offenses such as aggravated felonies.
• Illegal aliens suspected of terrorist activity or other activities that endanger national security.

“ICE detainers do not authorize, much less require, the exercise of any discretion by state and local law enforcement or executive decision-making by local government officials,” said Metcalfe. “All that the state or local law enforcement agency must do is to maintain custody of the detained individual. Not only does my legislation promote the rule of law, but it will also require state and local law enforcement agencies to fully cooperate with the federal government and assist ICE in achieving success with respect to the capture, detainment and deportation of illegal aliens.”

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Representative Daryl Metcalfe
12th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
724.772.3110 /
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