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City Council Votes For Bills To Protect Jailed Immigrants From Feds

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Bills passed by the City Council Wednesday aim to keep detained immigrants from being deported by the federal government.

The City Council voted in favor of the legislation 41-6 Wednesday.

As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, the measures, supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, would prohibit correction officials and police from handing over detainees to immigration officials.

But Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito noted there are exceptions.

City Council Bill Seeks To Protect Jailed Immigrants From Feds

"The law will only allow the city to honor the detainer if the subject has been convicted of a violent or serious felony in the last five years or if the person is a possible match on the federal terrorist watchlist," she said.

The bill would also shutter the federal immigration office on Rikers Island.

Mark-Viverito said New York is setting the standard for treatment of the immigrant population.

The speaker said earlier this month that immigrant families looking for better lives are "needlessly torn apart" because of gaps in the law.

An immigration detainer informs local law enforcement agencies that Homeland Security intends to assume custody of a person, and requests information to help make that possible.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and says the process helps it identify and remove criminals.

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