It’s a basic American legal principle: We don’t hold people in prison without a legal reason for doing so. We were impressed this week when Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle adhered to that position even on an issue that, frankly, might cost her more than a few votes. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants the county to hold some Cook County Jail inmates for an extra 48 hours, even after they’ve posted bond, because they might be illegal immigrants. ICE, which wants to use that time to check the inmates’ immigration status and pick them up if necessary, even has proposed paying the county’s additional costs for holding the inmates.

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