KIMT News 3 – More than 22 Iowa county jails are requesting a court order from a judge, before taking in undocumented immigrant detainees.
A new study from the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa shows that a number of these county jails say they’re just too crowded.
In past years, the county jails would keep the suspected undocumented immigrants for 48 hours, or until immigration and customs enforcement officials showed up.
Instead, now many are calling for a court order from a judge before holding them.
“We’re basically housing them just like we would house another county inmate. Then we would be charging the federal government, instead of the county government,” said Cerro Gordo County Jail Administrator, Shad Stoeffler.
In most jails including the Cerro Gordo County Jail, they will hold detainees for 48 hours, but if the detainees are not convicted of a crime, they will be let go.
ICE officials make the final call if they will choose to deport the immigrants.
“It just ties up a bunk or a few bunks from their own local inmates and then you get into the classification issues on simple misdemeanors or felonies. You don’t want to place these people in the general population when they don’t need to be,” said Stoeffler.
Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Sioux City are among the counties now requesting a judge court order.