By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 11, 2020

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - Police on Long Island will no longer hold immigrants eligible for release who are being sought by federal authorities for deportations, putting an end to a lawsuit challenging the policy.

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder issued an internal administrative order rescinding the policy on Jan. 3, records show. County attorneys announced on March 4 that the policy had been officially withdrawn - two days before they were scheduled to defend it in a Brooklyn appellate court, Newsday reported Wednesday.

Since 2007, Nassau County Police has held individuals they arrest for up to 48 hours if they were being sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, immigrant advocates said. Some of those people, including those were cleared of criminal charges, were transferred to federal custody and deported.

The Central American Refugee Center, a nonprofit in Hempstead, filed a lawsuit in 2017, arguing the policy was unlawful and that it discouraged immigrants who were subject to deportation from cooperating with law enforcement.

The department stopped implementing the policy in late 2018 after a decision by a New York appellate court and an internal review of Nassau police procedures.

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