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City Council Approves Plan To Keep Police Detainees From Immigration Officials

Long Island City Immigration Office (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Long Island City Immigration Office (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York City Council on Wednesday approved a measure that will make it more difficult for immigration officials to detain people being released from police custody.

The legislation would sometimes bar police from honoring immigration detainers, which allow federal immigration officials get custody of potentially deportable immigrants after they are released by local authorities.

Police still would honor detainers for people with criminal or immigration violation histories, among other circumstances. But police would not notify immigration authorities when releasing youthful offenders and people without significant criminal records.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the measure. A 2011 law set a similar policy for city jails, forbidding the city from honoring detainer requests for low-level offenses such as loitering, prostitution, or driving without a license.

Supporters said the change will stop deportations of people who pose no threat.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said honoring detainers helps protect public safety.

In backing such legislation last year, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the city cannot tell the federal government what to do, but it can tell its own Police and Correction Departments.

Do you agree with the legislation? Please leave your comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)