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US ruling spurs halt on immigration detainers

April 17, 2014

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — A federal judge has found that an immigrant woman’s constitutional rights were violated when she was held in jail without probable cause at the request of U.S. immigration authorities.

The ruling is one of several recent federal court decisions to place scrutiny on the practice of keeping people in jail after they’re eligible for release so that they can be considered for possible deportation.

The rulings make it clear that local officials are not required to honor the so-called immigration detainers, and that jurisdictions may be liable for doing so.

Several jurisdictions, including in Oregon, have announced they will stop honoring detainer requests.

Some counties and states had previously limited the practice, arguing it erodes trust in law enforcement and drags people with minor infractions into deportation.

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