Kalamazoo County considering stance on ICE immigration

Posted at 5:25 AM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 05:25:53-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - A national conversation took center stage in Kalamazoo County Tuesday evening.

Community members and commissioners discussed a resolution that would change how law enforcement there interacts with immigration officials.

The resolution would make it so no county resources are spent on separating children from their families at the US-Mexico border.

Nelly Fuentes said people want a seat at the table when the conversation regarding immigration comes up. “It’s idiotic that people expect anything to be pushed forward without the voices of those they are actually affecting," Fuentes said.

The resolution reads in part, "The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners hereby prohibits any Kalamazoo County resources, including staff time, facilities, or funds to be used to separate children from their families, to assist the other government agencies in separating children from their families, or to otherwise detain any individual based solely on their immigration status."

It's language the county sheriff says is too vague.

“Instead of a blanket statement, if you’re going to make a resolution, I ask that you make it more specific and that you dial down into some of these things and make it easier to understand,” Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said.

Sheriff Fuller argues resolution could be read that authorities won't separate children from their families regardless of immigration status, and the sheriff says sometimes that's necessary for a child's safety.

No decision was made on the resolution Tuesday evening. The commission plans to revisit the issue at their next meeting.