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Outgamie Sheriff's Department has 90 inmates referred to immigration

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The sheriff's department in Appleton has referred 90 of its jail inmates to immigration authorities over the last six months.

Outagamie County authorities adopted a policy to screen all inmates they believe are in the U.S. illegally.

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It used to be that only suspects in serious crimes had their immigration status checked. But Lt. Ron Yow, the jail's supervisor, tells the Appleton Post-Crescent it doesn't matter what the crime might be anymore.

He said it helped that the U.S. Immigration agency opened an office in Milwaukee last fall.

Brent Kriehn, the head of that office says he's been pushing a similar effort in counties across the state with mixed results. He says there are about 50 deportations pending from Outagamie County.

Numbers from other counties were not available. But the Post-Crescent said none of Outagamie County's neighbors are making similar referrals. Typically, an inmate must complete a local sentence before being considered for deportation.

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