Immigrant advocates sued the federal government Wednesday alleging immigration agents are filing paperwork to keep arrestees in custody before investigating whether they’re in the country illegally. The lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and other advocates alleges that Immigration and Customs Enforcement places so-called detainers on those in custody before thoroughly checking their immigration status – in some cases, affecting American citizens. The detainers are good for 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, and let agents keep immigrants in custody once they are released in their criminal cases.

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