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Oregon Counties End Jail Holds On Immigrants After Court Decision

OPB | April 17, 2014 4:22 p.m. | Updated: April 18, 2014 6:38 a.m. | Portland

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Five Oregon counties now say they will no longer hold people in jail in response to requests from the federal immigration agency. That’s after a federal district court judge found those detentions violate the constitution.

The case began in Clackamas County. According to court filings, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, has placed immigration holds on more than 1500 people in the Clackamas county jail in the last five years.

ICE asked the county to deny those people bail and to keep them for up to 48 hours after they’d finished serving their sentences.

One woman sued. She was represented by David Henretty at the Oregon Law Center. He says a federal judge agreed his client was held without a warrant or probable cause.

And Clackamas County is liable.

“It shows that jails cannot hold people without a reason, no matter who asks them to.” Henretty said.

The three Portland area counties, plus Deschutes and Marion counties, say 
they will no longer hold people based solely on ICE requests.

The U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency did not respond to a request for comment.

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