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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers detain a suspect as they conduct a targeted enforcement operation in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 2017. Photo courtesy Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Reuters

Lawsuit claims federal officials are denying some immigrants in Oregon access to attorneys

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group has filed an emergency suit in federal court against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers’ access to immigrants in a federal prison in Oregon.

A total of 123 immigrants were recently transferred to the federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement because other holding facilities have been overloaded since the Trump administration in April enacted a “zero tolerance” policy against people entering the country illegally.

Mat dos Santos, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, said Friday the U.S. Constitution protects everyone who is on U.S. soil, and that the detainees have the right to see an attorney.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Portland.

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