Huffpost Chicago

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

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In this Sept. 29, 2011 photo, inmates at the Cook County Jail in Chicago, the second largest county jail in the nation, line up to be processed for release. Cook County Commissioners have passed an ordinance this month that orders the jail not to hold illegal immigrants until Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers can pick them up. Their move is part of a backlash against a federal policy that many see as unfair to immigrants, breaking up families and costing local governments money they d | AP

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.

Read the whole story at WBEZ