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Bipartisan state reps ask ICE to change detention practices

The chamber of Michigan's House of Representatives in Lansing.

Ten Michigan state Representatives have sent a letter to Detroit Immigration and Customs Enforcement, criticizing the agency for some of its practices. The letter was sent in response to news that ICE has been sending people apprehended in Detroit to be detained in Youngstown, Ohio. That's over 230 miles from Detroit.

These representatives  five Democrats and five Republicans  say the distance from Michigan restricts important access to resources.

Rep. Stephanie Chang from Detroit initiated the letter, which she says immediately had bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

"I think whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you understand that you need to be able to talk to a lawyer and your lawyer needs to have access to you, and your family should have access to you and that's only fair," Chang said.

Rep. Chang says many of those transferred to Youngstown were arrested in the recent Detroit raid on the Iraqi community.

Rep. Larry Inman, R-Whitewater Twp., is a co-signer of the letter.

"If we have people that reside in Detroit and they're shipped to a different state and being detained, how do these people get proper legal representation, how do they get family members to drive down," he asked.

The signers hope the letter will prompt ICE to change its practices and keep Detroit detainees in the state.

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