Walla Walla County to change policy on holding immigrants

SEATTLE (AP) -- Officials say Walla Walla and Kitsap counties will no longer detain immigrants who are eligible for release on behalf of federal immigration authorities.

Walla Walla and Kitsap are some of the first confirmed counties in Washington to change their policy following a recent court decision in Oregon that found that such detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are not commands that local jurisdictions have to abide by, and that sheriffs could be liable for constitutional violations for holding people past the time when they would otherwise be released.

Sheriff John Turner says changing the policy reduces the possibility Walla Walla County will be sued.

ICE spokesman Andrew Munoz says the agency will continue to work "cooperatively with law enforcement partners" as it identifies removal of "convicted criminals."