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Immigration detention issue brings West Coast sheriff under fire

Many immigrants in Louisiana are concerned about deportation. It's apparently no different on the West Coast, where word has it that a current immigration detention problem has many people on edge and has also drawn negative attention to a local sheriff's department in one particular county. The issue has to do with important documents that certain immigrants were reportedly unable to access when they needed them.

The American Civil Liberties Union has come out fighting on behalf of immigrants who, according to advocates, may have avoided deportation if only they had been given access to documents that were pertinent to their asylum cases. Some of the documents in question included medical records. ACLU spokesmen say county sheriff's officials and federal immigration officers refused to allow certain immigrants to view their own records, which may have led to their deportations.

Immigrant advocates say the alleged actions of the officials in question violate detainees' rights and also go against ICE detention standards. One asylum seeker was reportedly denied documents that contained contact information she needed to get in touch with family members to help with her asylum claim; she was later deported. The sheriff's department involved in the situation supposedly has the opportunity to earn more than $30 million a year by housing immigration detainees in county jails.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's department said the department follows all rules pertaining to immigrants' records and their ability to access documents when needed. She also stated that the department is taking the accusations made by the ACLU very seriously and will take appropriate action if there has been a violation of department protocol. A Louisiana immigration and naturalization law attorney would be able to advise someone facing immigration detention problems on how best to proceed to rectify a particular situation.

Source: ocregister.com, "ACLU alleges Orange County Sheriff denied immigration detainees access to documents, leading to deportations", Jordan Graham, Sept. 13, 2017

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