By nate carlisle
ACLU to sue Salt Lake County over detention of immigrants at jail

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published 1 hour ago
Updated 30 minutes ago Updated Jul 21, 2011 07:57PM

The American Civil Liberties Union plans to sue the Salt Lake County jail, saying it has been illegally holding inmates suspected of being undocumented immigrants. The jail has a policy of keeping inmates who have posted bail or who otherwise can be released so federal agents can check their immigration status. The ACLU says that violates the inmates’ due process rights. Darcy Goddard, the legal director of the ACLU of Utah, said her organization will file its lawsuit next week in federal court. Other ACLU chapters, including one in Colorado, have successfully fought similar detentions in court, Goddard said.

Goddard says attorneys opposed to the Salt Lake County policy earned a victory Thursday in state court where 22-year-old Enrique Antonio Uroza is charged with three felony counts of forgery and two counts of theft of by deception. A judge said the Salt Lake County jail should release Uroza, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who the jail has held since June 13. Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. He has said in public forums that his agencies, which include the jail and the Unified Police Department, does not focus on arresting and detaining immigrants but rather focuses on “bad people