Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lt. John Herrell said that the ability to execute ICE warrants will only be used in the jail for the purpose of ICE detainment.

TAVARES — Eighteen Lake County corrections officers and two deputies in the Sheriff’s Office warrants unit have received training to execute arrest warrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.


This expands ICE’s reach into Lake County beyond the agreement entered last year for ICE to request holds from the Sheriff’s Office. The certifications, which sheriff’s Lt. John Herrell said aren’t active yet, will allow Lake correctional officers and deputies to detain every undocumented immigrant who passes through the jail, rather than waiting for ICE to request a hold.


Detainers, placed on incarcerated people ICE believes can be deported, can be enforced for up to 48 hours after a person’s slated release, whether they served their time or posted bail.


“Once their local charges are disposed of, that’s when their clock starts ticking,” Herrell said.


At any given time, he said, the Lake County Jail holds roughly 10 to 12 undocumented immigrants in custody.


Herrell said that the ability to execute ICE warrants will only be used in the jail for the purpose of ICE detainment. Though two deputies in the warrants unit were trained and will become certified, he said, no Lake County deputy will seek to execute an ICE warrant without a local warrant.


“We’re only talking about people who come into our jail with local charges,” Herrell said. He also said jail staff will be up front with family members of people with ICE detainers if they come to bail them out: Those people won’t be released until either ICE picks them up or 48 hours go by.


ICE has been prompt about picking people up when it has requested holds in the past.


“This new program gives us an additional tool that we can use to help ICE remove criminal illegal aliens from our jail, rather than putting them back in our communities to commit more crimes,” Sheriff Peyton Grinnell said in a statement. “This partnership is a win-win; it helps ICE do their job, and helps us do ours.”