N.C. jail once barred federal funds now houses asylum-seekers

North Carolina
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GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff unsuccessfully sued by the Obama administration for allegedly targeting Latinos is now being paid to hold mostly Hispanic asylum-seekers in his jail.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement started sending people arrested in Eastern North Carolina by ICE agents to the Alamance County Jail in February after newly elected sheriffs in Wake and Mecklenburg counties cancelled agreements with ICE.

In May, ICE also began using the Alamance jail to temporarily hold persons encountered at the southern border while they await initial asylum hearings.

ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said the number of detainees at the Alamance facility on any given day is less than 60.

Federal prosecutors sued Sheriff Terry Johnson in 2012, saying his office routinely targeted and discriminated against Latinos. A federal judge rejected the lawsuit.

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