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Immigrants worried over ICE presence in NYC jails

Immigrants worried over ICE presence in NYC jails

CREATED Jun 30, 2011

Web Producer: Brian Pryor

NEW YORK (AP) - Immigrants and their advocates say New York City is giving federal immigration authorities to much rein in city jails.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been a presence at the city's main jail complex for at least 15 years.

Immigrants in custody there on criminal charges can be held and transferred into the federal detention system even if their criminal case ends up dismissed.

Once in detention, immigrants can face deportation. Their advocates want the city to inform federal authorities only about those convicted of serious felonies.

ICE says its priority is to remove immigrants convicted of serious crimes. It also says the city is obligated to hold anyone the agency has put a detainer on.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)