It shall be the policy of this department for all officers to advise foreign national suspects of their right to communicate with their consular officers when arrested or detained. Note – the Department of State does not consider it necessary to follow consular notification procedures when an alien is detained only momentarily e.g., during a traffic stop.


Foreign Diplomats and Consular Officials may be issued traffic notice of infractions and citations.  They may also be taken into custody for the purpose of a breath test.  If a felony has been committed and there is probable cause to believe that a person with diplomatic or consular immunity committed the crime, detain them and obtain an arrest warrant through the prosecutor.


Requiring a foreign national to accompany a law enforcement officer, either voluntarily or in a custodial situation, to a place of detention may trigger the consular notification requirements, particularly if the detention lasts for a number of hours or overnight. Note – The longer a detention continues, the more likely it is that a reasonable person would conclude that the notification obligation is triggered.

Notification Procedure


v      Determine the foreign national’s country. In the absence of other information, assume this is in the country on whose passport or other travel document the foreign national travels.


v      If the foreign national’s country is not on the mandatory notification list offer, without delay, to notify the foreign national’s consular officials of the arrest/detention.


v      If the foreign national asks that consular notification be given, notify the nearest consular officials of the foreign national’s country without delay.


v      If the foreign national’s country is on the list of mandatory notification countries:


a.      Notify that country’s nearest consular officials, without delay, of the arrest/detention.

b.      Tell the foreign national that you are making this notification.


v      Notifications and actions taken must be documented in the case report.


Further information is available at the following link: J:\Legal Info and LEDs


Immigration Policy


Officers shall not inquire about immigration status during police contacts with suspects, witnesses, or victims.  If a suspect is arrested or detained and the officer believes the subject is a foreign national, the officer must follow 5.00.140 Consular notification.


·         Officers may contact Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding a person who has been arrested and that the officer believes is an illegal alien.  For suspects held in custody, officers should recommend to the jail not to release the person from custody until federal authorities are formally notified of the pending charges. 

·         Officers may take into custody any persons ICE or other federal authorities identify as a criminal suspect if the federal authority authorizes detention directly into a federal detention facility.

·         ICE issues several types of detainers for foreign nationals.  Officers may accept and act upon only criminal immigration detainers issued by ICE.  Officers may not detain, accept, or act upon civil immigration detainers issued by ICE.

·         Officers may not detain a person solely to verify a federal civil warrant.  Officers may not take persons with Federal civil warrants into custody solely because of the civil warrant.

·         Officers may cooperate with and assist federal agencies if the federal agent clearly states that the matter relates to criminal violations. 

·         Officers/Detectives must obtain the prior approval of their captain to involve federal immigration authorities for any civil purpose.