McHenry Co. sheriff sued for not releasing immigrant detainee under Trust Act

MCHENRY COUNTY, Ill. — The sheriff of McHenry County is being sued for refusing to release an inmate his family and lawyer said should have been set free on bond under a new state immigration law.

Sheriff Bill Prim refused to release Niceforo Macedo-Hernandez of Crystal Lake last week, even though Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Trust Act days earlier.

The law says state and local authorities cannot arrest or detain people based on their immigration status alone.

He was being held on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

However, when his family later posted bond, they learned he was transferred to federal immigration authorities where deportation proceedings have already begun.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the sheriff’s office issued a statement Sept. 1 that it was seeking more time to interpret the new legislation and that it wanted to move “slowly and cautiously, with public safety as our foremost consideration.”