GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Activists sat down with Kent County leaders Monday to demand the county jail end a contract with federal immigration authorities, but the meeting didn't have a very productive outcome.
Activists with Movemiento Cosecha, a group pushing for immigration reform nationwide, met with some Kent County commissioners and a chief deputy with the Kent County Sheriff's Department at the Department of Human Services building in Grand Rapids.
The activists are asking for immediate action from county leaders in ending the contract the Kent County jail has with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Among other things, the contract provides payment from ICE for the jail to house inmates being held in connection to illegal immigration.
Critics of the arrangement say the contract makes Kent County complicit in ICE's activities, which they say unfairly target Latinos and tear families apart while enforcing the Trump administration's hardline policies.
“As long as this contract remains in place, Kent County, its sheriff's department, and its board of commissioners are complicit in ICE's ongoing violence against our local immigrant communities,” Sergio Cira of Cosecha Grand Rapids said in a written statement following the meeting.
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