Yakima County agrees to limit cooperation with ICE

Yakima County agrees to limit cooperation with ICE
(Stock photo)

Yakima County has agreed to limit its cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of a settlement reached Wednesday with two men who were placed on immigration holds.

Until now, inmates arrested on state charges could be kept in custody at the Yakima County Jail on a federal immigration hold despite being otherwise eligible for release. Those inmates would be turned over to ICE through phone requests or electronic immigration forms.

The settlement comes after a year-long legal battle involving two federal cases, which challenged the constitutionality of this practice. The cases involved two, Antonio Sanchez Ochoa and Ricardo Olivera Silva, who were arrested on state charges and were unable to be released solely because of a immigration hold.

Under the settlement, the county will no longer prolong the detention of inmates solely per ICE’s request.

The county will stop making “electronic” transfers to immigration custody and will release people from county custody when they are entitled to be released. Inmates can still be transferred from the county to ICE if an immigration officer is physically present with the appropriate paperwork.

Additionally, the county will stop publishing civil immigration warrants or detainers on the county jail’s website, but will confirm when an individual is being held under the contract with federal authorities.

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