Fewer Pa. jails cooperating with U.S. immigration authorities

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 9, 2015 7:48 AM

(Allentown) -- Fewer Pennsylvania jails are complying with requests from federal immigration authorities to hold prisoners suspected of being in the country illegally.

The Allentown Morning Call reports 14 counties adopted formal policies last year against holding prisoners in their jails for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

A Temple University survey shows 18 other counties had previously adopted anti-detainer policies and two have policies in favor of cooperating with ICE. 

According to the paper, only two counties, Berks and Northampton, have written policies directing corrections officials to comply with immigration detainers. 

Counties have shifted away from helping federal immigration authorities after an appeals court last year ruled that ICE could only request help from local jails and that requiring cooperation infringed on states' rights. 

ICE tells the newspaper its agents have had to round up gang members and sex offenders who were free because counties ignored detention requests.

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