CHICAGO
05/16/2012 01:48 pm ET

Are U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement Detainers A Public Safety Issue?

More than eight months since it passed, an ordinance that ended the Cook County Jail's compliance with immigration detainers keeps causing sparks. The detainers are requests that the jail hold inmates up to two business days extra to help federal officials put them into deportation proceedings.

Sheriff Tom Dart and some county commissioners are pressing for the ordinance to be scaled back. So is President Obama's administration. They all say their motive is to keep dangerous criminals locked up. Yet officials offer no evidence whether inmates freed by the ordinance endanger the public more than other former inmates do. A WBEZ investigation sheds the first light.

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