- Associated Press - Monday, August 18, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — Officials at 22 Iowa county jails are refusing to accept requests from federal immigration authorities to hold people in jail without a court order.

It has been common practice for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to ask jails to hold individuals suspected of not having proper immigration documentation. Some people have been held for days or weeks without charges filed against them.

Increasingly county officials are declining in part because of lawsuits but also because they’re not paid to hold the individuals.


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The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says 22 counties refusing to honor immigration detainers include Iowa’s most populous cities. Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, and Sioux City are among them.

The counties say they now require a judge’s approval of a warrant before they’ll hold someone.