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El Paso County Attorney's Office to appeal ACLU lawsuit prohibiting immigration holds

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - The Board of El Paso County Commissioners has directed the County Attorney's Office to appeal an ACLU lawsuit ruling last year that prohibited the Sheriff's Office from holding undocumented inmates for federal immigration officers, according to a Commissioners release Monday.

Judge Eric Bentley previously granted a permanent injunction prohibiting the Sheriff's Office from holding undocumented individuals for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. After this ruling, the Governor signed a bill prohibiting state and local law enforcement officials from arresting or detaining an individual on the basis of a civil immigration detainer requests, known as ICE holds.

"As a Board, we're absolutely united and committed to pursuing appeals as far as the Courts will allow," stated Board Chair Mark Waller in the release. "This is about standing together for the safety of our community and doing the right thing. By the judge's own admission, higher courts need to weigh in on this in order to provide certainty. That is why we need to follow this through."

"I've been supportive of an appeal since the ruling last year," Sheriff Bill Elder said in the release. "I truly believe my office did the right thing by cooperating with ICE officials. I believe an appeal will show my officers acted lawfully. I sincerely hope our actions will be vindicated by a successful appeal."

This appeal "underscores how strongly both El Paso County Commissioners and the Sheriff feel that appellate courts must provide clarity," says the release.

This is an ongoing story. Check back at KRDO.com for updates.


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