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Legal limbo: US denies immigrant suspects their day in court

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By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) - Some immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and accused of crimes are in legal limbo because federal authorities won't let them appear in court.

Immigration officials say they fear prosecutors in so-called sanctuary cities and states might not hand suspects back over for deportation once their criminal cases are resolved.

Immigrant advocates say the aggressive tactics by Immigration and Customs Enforcement block due process rights and prevent criminal cases from being heard.

Lawyers say Republican Donald Trump's administration is specifically targeting suspects not yet found guilty, a departure from the Obama administration, which focused primarily on those convicted.

ICE is not required to comply with judges' orders that a detainee appear in state court. And federal authorities say they won't do that without assurances they'll be returned to federal custody.

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