- Associated Press - Friday, February 24, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will start transferring inmates deemed in violation of federal immigration law to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers within the confines of county jails.

Friday night’s announcement by Sheriff Paul Penzone settles a point of contention between his agency and ICE after a policy change last week that ended ICE “courtesy holds” in Maricopa County jails.

Facing a threat of litigation and upon the advice of the county Attorney’s Office, Penzone last week said that his office would begin freeing inmates suspected to be illegal immigrants when a criminal judge ordered their release.

Prior to that, an ICE “detainer” could keep suspected illegal immigrants in jail for up to 48 hours after their ordered release until ICE agents could pick them up.

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