MANKATO (LEARFIELD)  —  A southern Minnesota judge says the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office cannot detain inmates for Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they’re eligible for state release.

Blue Earth County Judge Greg Anderson issued the order in support of the A-C-L-U of Minnesota’s class-action lawsuit against Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening and his department.  Authorities had held immigrants for ICE even after they posted bail or had their case dismissed.

Judge Anderson said there’s no basis to detain any person, regardless of immigration status, after he or she is entitled to release.  This is the second time the A-C-L-U sued Nobles County.

Plaintiff Rodrigo Esparza, who the case is named after, said he is proud of the outcome.

No response yet from the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office.