And the secretary of homeland security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, has started a review of such agreements. In May, he ended agreements with two county jails, in Georgia and Massachusetts, which had been under investigation over whether they had mistreated immigrant prisoners. Other agreements could also be terminated in the coming months.
“For several decades now, immigrant leaders have been demanding total disentanglement of local law enforcement with federal immigration enforcement,” said Simon Y. Sandoval-Moshenberg, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Justice Center. “I think the nomination of these two individuals gives a lot of people hope that we might actually see some real concrete action on that front.”
If anything, liberal groups appear ready to impose unrealistic demands on Mr. Biden’s nominees for ICE and Customs and Border Protection, using the loftiest of language to lay down their visions.
“The entire federal immigration system must be reimagined to lead with the concept that migration is a human right, and a commitment to replace the deportation-centric immigration system with one that embraces equity, diversity and fairness,” said Laura Peña, a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project.
Customs and Border Protection and ICE were at the center of some of the most contentious policies under the Trump administration, accused of racial profiling, excessive force and inhumanely handling people in custody. The agencies were among a dozen Mr. Trump turned to last summer in his bid to “dominate” demonstrators protesting police brutality.
Those are also issues Chief Magnus and Sheriff Gonzalez have faced in their own departments.
Last year, Chief Magnus offered to resign after two Latino men died in his department’s custody. One of the men was naked, handcuffed and face down on the ground, and said he could not breathe. When the mayor refused to review the department’s practices, the chief brought in an outside group to do so. Some groups have criticized Chief Magnus’s handling of the situation, saying he took too long to release relevant footage.
Sheriff Gonzalez, in 2018, fired a deputy who shot and killed an unarmed man, which violated the department’s policy on use of force.