Seattle’s top federal immigration enforcement official is defending the practice of requesting holds, or detainers, on illegal immigrants locked up at the King County Jail. The county council is considering an ordinance that would limit the number of immigration detainer requests granted by the county. Right now, the county honors virtually all requests by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain illegal immigrants for up to an additional 48 hours. Councilmember Rod Dembowski conceded that he’s concerned about the actions of criminal immigrants. "I’m also concerned about those folks […] because frankly, of a broken immigration system in my view, that maybe get into a little bit of trouble, get into the jail and get swooped up into that broken immigration system."

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