County officials who detained immigrants broke US immigration law

Louisiana state laws can be pretty confusing, and federal laws are not any easier to understand. This is just one of the reasons that so many people do not understand what rights they have under U.S. immigration law. This can lead to unfortunate outcomes, like even being unlawfully detained.

A court recently sided with the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit that it filed back in 2018. The lawsuit claimed that officials in a county from another state broke the law when they detained undocumented immigrants, and then waited for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement — ICE — to pick them up. But the lawsuit claimed that those officials never had any sort of cause to actually hold the dozen or so affected immigrants.

The lawsuit also pointed out that things went beyond just jailing people with no cause. Officials refused to release even the people who had paid bail, completed their sentences or who had had their cases dismissed. One person even paid two separate bonds but was held for a total of 26 days.

The judge concluded that those county officials had no legal right to detain anyone who is entitled to be released — even if he or she is undocumented — and used an injunction to make sure the county cannot start doing the same thing in the future. Understanding how U.S. immigration law works can help people push back against these types of situations. Doing one’s best to understand the law or talking with an experienced Louisiana attorney can be helpful when trying to learn more about personal rights.