Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman has agreed to stop holding detainees for federal immigration authorities unless they are charged with certain violent crimes.
The move announced Tuesday is spelled out in the settlement of a civil lawsuit filed in 2011 on behalf of two men who said they were held illegally in the Orleans Parish Prison for months — well beyond a 48-hour limit an advocacy group says is spelled out in the rules of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In the settlement in U.S. District Court, Gusman agrees to stop holding detainees for ICE unless they are charged with murder or other specified violent crimes.
Also, the sheriff won't let ICE conduct immigration status investigations at the jail without a court order.
The move was criticized by Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter who said the policy would "directly threaten federal authority to detain dangerous criminals who are also illegal immigrants, as well as the safety of Louisiana families."
Vitter says the policy is "pointing to New Orleans as a sanctuary city and giving Louisiana a bad name."
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