Mesa County Sheriff's Office to comply with new immigration ruling

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The Mesa County Sheriff said he will follow along with a new ruling on illegal immigrant rights in jails.

"When it is ruled by a federal judge that holding somebody on an ICE detainer alone is illegal and may violate somebody's rights, we sit up and take notice because we run a facility where we don't want to violate people's rights," Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey said.

Previously, Immigration Customs and Enforcement, or ICE, could request a jail hold a suspected illegal immigrant for 48 hours after the person is scheduled to be released.

However, a federal judge in Oregon ruled against this practice.

"We're reacting to the fact that it has been ruled, that it's illegal to do," Hilkey said. "We're suspending that practice until we decide how to go forward from here in a way that is defensible, legal and proper."

Right now, there are about 20 people in the Mesa County jail with ICE detainers who face local charges.

According to the ruling, they will have to be released right when their sentences have been served or they've been cleared of the crime or ICE will have to pick them up immediately when they're scheduled for release.

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