ACLU wins temp. lawsuit for detained immigrants

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon won a temporary restraining order to allow immigrant detainees in Sheridan prison access to lawyers.

The decision made on Monday in federal court comes after the rights group filed an emergency suit on Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments. The lawsuit alleges that they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers’ access to immigrants at the Sheridan Detention Facility.

The ACLU lawyers expect to go to Sheridan on Tuesday to start preliminary meetings with the detainees.

A total of 123 immigrants were recently transferred to the facility by ICE because other holding facilities have been overloaded since the Trump administration in April enacted a “zero tolerance” policy against people entering the country illegally. 

The detainees are from 16 countries, but more than half are from India and Nepal.

Mat dos Santos, legal director of the ACLU of Oregon, said Friday the U.S. Constitution protects everyone who is on U.S. soil, and that the detainees have the right to see an attorney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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