10 Reasons to STOP ICE in Jerome County
Jerome County Sheriff Doug McFall is in the final stages of making a deal to house ICE detainees in the new county jail, according to this Times-News article. The Jerome County Commission will discuss immigration issues and may consider the deal at its meeting at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 3 (the agenda item appears to be called “Immigration Public Relations Campaign.”)
The Idaho Organizing Project is encouraging people to attend the Monday Commission meeting to tell Jerome County to just say no to ICE in our communities.
10 Reasons to STOP ICE Setting Up Shop in the New Jerome County Jail
- ICE uses local jails as a dragnet to expand its reach, to round up more people, and to gather more info on the community. With a permanent presence at the County Jail, immigration officers will interact more frequently with local law enforcement, eroding the trust the community has in the police.
- There are no ICE detention facilities in Idaho at the moment. Having 50 ICE beds in Jerome – that the feds pay for whether or not they are full – sets up a huge incentive for ICE to fill those beds, to arrest more people, and to hold them longer.
- That also means that if you are waiting to see an immigration judge, to post bond, for example, you are likely to spend more time in detention before being able to see an immigration judge. The process already takes more than a month.
- Counties and cities should not be holding inmates AT ALL for federal immigration authorities. Local law enforcement is not beholden to federal immigration agency dictates. Many police departments choose to police for ALL members of their communities, and actively resist programs that make immigrants and people of color doubt their ability to protect and serve. Trusting relationships make policing EASIER and make the community SAFER.
- Jerome is a major hub of the Latino community in Idaho and has worked hard to become a welcoming community. Jerome County is 33% Latino, according the the U.S. Census Bureau. The County proposal to bring ICE into the local jail undermines efforts in the City of Jerome, spreads legitimate fear throughout the county, and will hurt the local economy.
- ICE is bad for business in the Magic Valley, where farms and dairies dominate the economy and have a high non-citizen workforce.
- The Latino community – citizen and non-citizen alike – has many, long-standing ties to the Magic Valley, including roots in the cities and towns of the valley that go back a century or more. The community includes children and spouses, friends and neighbors with mixed immigration statuses.
- As evidenced by recent emails to a constituent (see below), ICE, local law enforcement, and the County Commissioners do not understand that immigration status is a complex and fluid category, that non-citizens are some of our best citizens, or that brown skin is not reasonable cause for search and seizure.
- The state Attorney General’s Office is already investigating Jerome County Sheriff Doug McFall is for misuse of county resources and one of his lieutenants has resigned.
- ICE has long been a rogue government agency, now run by the most anti-immigration forces in our nation, under the Trump administration.
- CALL the County: (208) 644-2701, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CALL the Sheriff: (208) 342-1911 and tell them NO to using the Jerome jail as an immigration detention center.
- SHOW UP at the County Commissioner meeting MONDAY July 3, 9:00 a.m., 300 N. Lincoln Ave., Jerome, Idaho 83338.
Some quotes from Jerome County Commissioner Roger Morley in a note to a constituent:
…this is no different than our Sheriff’s department going after white lawbreakers right here in our community and sending them to places where they will not pray [sic] on our population.
The ICE officers responded that they are only going after the population, Hispanic or Bosnian, that are breaking the law and taking advantage of all of us.
I can only hope you understand my position. I am not a bigot or do I condone discrimination.