ACLU sues Teller County sheriff over man’s detention

Author: Lance Benzel, The Gazette - July 24, 2018 - Updated: August 9, 2018

Sheriff Jason Mikesell kept residents informed about the progress made on the High Chateau Fire. By the end of the week, 1,400 acres had burned and 10 homes destroyed. (Photo by David K. Johnson Photography)

The ACLU of Colorado said it filed suit Monday against Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell, alleging that he violated the law by detaining a suspected illegal immigrant strictly at the request of federal immigration authorities.

The suit over inmate Leonard Canseco Salinas alleges that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer falls short of what the law requires before incarcerating someone: a warrant or sentencing order signed by a judge.

The 12-page complaint was filed in Teller County District Court and names no other defendants. It marks the civil liberties group’s latest attack on what it has called illegal detention practices in which ICE asks jailers to hold suspected illegal immigrants until federal agents can take them into custody. Mikesell wasn’t available for comment.

This year, the ACLU won a judge’s preliminary injunction barring the El Paso County jail from honoring ICE detention requests pending an earlier lawsuit over the practice in Colorado Springs.

Lance Benzel, The Gazette