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Court rules Los Angeles sheriff violated immigrants’ rights

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal judge has found that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and immigration officials violated the rights of detained immigrants.

Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ruled Thursday in U.S. District Court that immigrants were held too long, denied bail or were locked up despite a lack of evidence.

Immigrant advocates say the ruling affects thousands of people who were held under immigration detainers issued by the federal government.

California has since passed laws preventing law enforcement from honoring detainers, but the American Civil Liberties Union says those wrongly held might be eligible for monetary damages.

Birotte says a trial is needed to sort out challenges to other detention practices.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.

The Sheriff's Department didn't immediately comment.

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