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Lawsuit seeks to stop transfer of immigrant detainees from Orange County jails

FILE: An Orange County Sheriff's deputy keeps a watch over a group of immigrant detainees in the medical and dental care area at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010.
FILE: An Orange County Sheriff's deputy keeps a watch over a group of immigrant detainees in the medical and dental care area at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010.
Jae C. Hong/AP

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The ACLU is suing to stop immigration officials from transferring detained immigrants out of Orange County jails. The lawsuit follows an announcement in late March by the county, which said it will end its contract to house detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in order to free up space for jail inmates requiring mental health services.

ICE detainees were expected to be transferred out of county facilities by Aug. 1. According to the ACLU, transferring them out of Orange County would isolate them from relatives in the area, and distance them attorneys working on their immigration cases.