Yakima County Jail Changes Immigration Hold Policy
Officials at the Yakima County Jail are changing a policy of keeping people behind bars on an immigration hold following a settlement in a civil case resolving claims brought against the county by two people. Ed Campbell, Director of the Yakima County Department of Corrections says Under the old policy, county officials entered an immigration hold any time federal immigration officers sent them an administrative “warrant.” When the individual was entitled to be released on the state charge the county continued to hold the person by designating them as being placed under ICE custody. That policy is changing. The Change means that ICE agents must now show up in person at the jail to serve warrants to inmates being held on immigration violations. but Campbell tells KIT News. "We are going to continue to cooperate with ICE and they're going to continue to have a contract with us and we'll continue to work with them in our facility."
The change in policy follows challenges to the county’s practice of holding individuals in county custody on an immigration hold past the time they are otherwise eligible for release from jail, violating the U.S. Constitution.
Columbia Legal Services and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) represented the two people who were unable to post bail or not released after paying bail, because of the immigration hold placed upon them under Yakima County’s former policy.