Illinois’ law ending immigration detention in 2022 hits snag


Johannes Favi, an immigrant from Benin, poses outside his home in Indianapolis, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. An Illinois law which was supposed to end federal agreements to detain immigrants in county jails in the New Year has been delayed. Immigrant rights activists nationwide have celebrated the law as a step toward ending practices they consider inhumane and costly. Although some counties argue it may complicate things for immigrants who may be moved further from family and legal help. Favi, formerly detained in Kankakee, Ill., has been active in pushing for the end of detention of immigrants. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ plan to end federal immigration detention in the New Year has hit another legal snag.

Under a law signed in August, local governments can’t sign new agreements with federal immigration authorities and must end old ones to detain immigrants. The three counties with such contracts faced a Jan. 1 deadline.

One center in downstate Pulaski County has already transferred or released detainees, but two others involved in a lawsuit have a temporarily extension to Jan. 13 while the case is being appealed. After the lawsuit was dismissed last month, a federal judge issued a stay Thursday.

Immigrant rights activists call the law historic, but others are critical, saying ending contracts creates new complications such as moving detainees farther from family and legal help.

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