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No immigration holds for undocumented youths arrested in protest

September 7, 2012 |  7:37 pm

Federal officials do not plan to take custody of four undocumented immigrants who were arrested during a protest outside the downtown L.A. County jail, a spokeswoman said this afternoon.

Under the Secure Communities program, anyone arrested in Los Angeles County and other participating jurisdictions can be held for 48 hours if the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency suspects he or she is in the country illegally.

The protesters' fingerprints and other information were run through a federal database and "the cases weren't consistent with our priorities," said ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice.

The four, along with another protester who is in the country legally, were charged with failure to disperse. By late this afternoon, several had been released, with court dates scheduled for October, said Jonathan Perez, a spokesman for the Immigrant Youth Coalition.

Thursday's protest was an action against Secure Communities, the same federal program that put the arrestees at risk of being held for possible deportation. The Trust Act, which awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature, would prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with the program in most cases.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has said he would defy the proposed state law and continue to honor federal requests to hold suspects for up to 48 hours.

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-- Cindy Chang

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