New Colorado law says local inmates can’t be held at ICE request

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DENVER  |  A new Colorado law says people suspected of being in the country illegally can’t be kept in jail simply at the request of immigration officials.

Gov. Jared Polis signed the legislation Tuesday. It will take effect Aug. 2.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement can request that inmates suspected of an immigration violation be kept in jail until immigration agents can arrive to take custody of them. Colorado sheriffs have largely refused to honor such requests after courts ruled that keeping someone jailed without a warrant isn’t constitutional. However, two sheriffs were sued last year for holding inmates for ICE.

Colorado Politics reports the bill would have originally barred jail staff from talking with immigration officials but was weakened to satisfy concerns raised by Polis. The law will bar probation officers from providing information to immigration agents.