Protesters, Kent Co. officials meet about ICE contract

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group pushing for Kent County to end its contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency says it will meet with commissioners Monday evening about a plan to end the agreement.

Movimiento Cosecha Grand Rapids says the sheriff and undersheriff will also be involved in the 6 p.m. meeting. The groups agreed to meet weeks ago, after a heated demonstration during a commission meeting.

Cosecha GR plans to hold a news conference at 5:30 p.m., which we will carry live on WOOD TV8’s Facebook page.

Cosecha GR has teamed up with GR Rapid Response to protest the contract, in which the county is paid for detaining immigrants in the county jail for ICE. Cosecha GR said the deal “cultivates an atmosphere of persistent fear” for immigrants. 

County leaders have contended it's the sheriff's department – not the county board – that has control over the contract with ICE. But protesters say commissioners could threaten to withhold the sheriff’s departments budget until changes are made.

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