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Immigration detainers down in McLean County

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:54 p.m. CDT

BLOOMINGTON — Federal immigration detainers have dropped in a central Illinois county where they sparked protests two years ago.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported Thursday that the number issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in McLean County was 122 in 2012, 48 in 2013 and 18 this year.

Activists wanted to end the practice in 2012, but Sheriff Mike Emery says it's his obligation to cooperate with federal authorities.

Detainers allow immigrants to be jailed without probable cause at the request of U.S. immigration authorities so they can be considered for possible deportation.

But the practice is under scrutiny nationwide. Cook County stopped complying with detainers in 2011.

Legislation that calls for Illinois facilities to stop honoring detainers is pending.

Immigration officials argue detainers help apprehend criminals living in the U.S. illegally.

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