Judge plans to dismiss case on wages of immigrant detainees

SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge who previously ruled that Washington state could pursue its claim that immigration detainees must be paid minimum wage for work done in custody says he intends to reverse himself.

U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan on Tuesday notified lawyers for the state and for the GEO Group, which operates a large immigration detention center in Tacoma, that he plans to dismiss the case. He gave them until Oct. 4 to respond.

Bryan ruled in December that Washington state could pursue its claim that the GEO Group was required to pay the state minimum wage, instead of $1 a day, for janitorial, kitchen and other duty done by detainees.

He reconsidered at the urging of the U.S. Justice Department, after two federal appeals rulings this year clarified the law.