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Kent County says jail contract with federal immigration enforcement will end

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

The Kent County Sheriff says federal immigration officials have decided not to renew a contract to hold its detainees at the Kent County jail.

The county stopped complying with so called “detainer requests” from Immigration and Customs Enforcement earlier this year.
But some immigration suspects could still be held at the jail through other means.

This weekend, activists from GR Rapid Response to ICE took to the lobby of the jail and protested its involvement with immigration authorities.

The Kent County sheriff now says its contract with immigration enforcement will not be renewed when it expires at the end of September.

“The current contract with ICE will expire on September 30, 2019 as ICE is not seeking to renew the agreement,” Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young said in a statement. “In January of this year, we adjusted our protocols within the correctional facility to manage the way we handled ICE requests for detainees. We have thoroughly evaluated this policy and determined it to be effective in protecting the community and in the safe and fair handling of persons of interest to ICE. Therefore, we intend to keep it as part of our standard operating procedure. As a result of the addition of our January protocol, ICE informed my office they would not be seeking a renewal of the contract.”

The department says it will continue to “work collaboratively” with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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