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SoCal Counties Halt Immigration Detainers After Court Ruling

LOS ANGELES ( — Officials in Los Angeles County and over a dozen other counties in Southern California are no longer honoring requests from federal immigration agents to hold potentially deportable inmates past the length of their jail terms, according to a report Monday.

San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties are also among about 100 municipalities across the country that have stopped the practice of complying with so-called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A federal court ruling in April which found an Oregon county liable for damages after it held an inmate beyond her release date so she could be transferred into ICE custody is being cited as the primary cause for the shift in policy, The Times reported.

Analysts say the changes could pose the latest obstacle to President Barack Obama's current immigration enforcement strategy, which relies on collaboration between local law enforcement authorities and federal agents.

Hiroshi Motomura, an immigration law professor at UCLA, told The Times the Oregon court ruling has transformed the long-running debate over ICE detainers from one of politics to liability.

"It's very significant because it represents a reduction of the involvement of local police in federal immigration enforcement," Motomura told The Times.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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