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After court ruling, county will stop some ICE holds


Federal judge ruled Clackamas County held woman illegally during residency check

Columbia County will no longer comply with requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to temporarily hold people in detention without charge while their immigration status is determined, Sheriff Jeff Dickerson confirmed Tuesday, April 22.

The change in policy comes after an April 11 ruling in federal district court that Clackamas County violated a woman’s constitutional rights by continuing to hold her after she had served time for a criminal conviction, at the request of ICE, which was investigating whether she was in the United States legally.

Dickerson said his office will not honor ICE requests of that nature in the wake of the ruling.

“We will not be complying with those any longer,” said Dickerson.

For now, however, the Columbia County Jail is continuing to house ICE inmates who have been charged with or convicted of criminal offenses.

The county has an arrangement with the federal government whereby it rents jail beds to ICE and the U.S. Marshals Service. As of Monday, Dickerson said, six inmates were being held for ICE at the jail, awaiting their eventual deportation.

“It’s not like we’re holding them for investigation. We’re holding them for ICE to transfer to Tacoma,” Dickerson said, referring to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., a private prison where illegal aliens are held pending deportation. Such inmates typically do not stay at the Columbia County Jail for long, he said.

Dickerson said that arrangement with ICE is under review after the court ruling as well.