Immigration activists planning to address Kent Co. leaders again over ICE contract

Posted at 5:01 AM, Jul 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 05:30:06-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- Immigration activists are planning to call on Kent County leaders again to end their contracts with immigration customs enforcement.

This is the same group that interrupted a Kent County Commissioner Meeting last month which resulted in the meeting being adjourned.

The Kent County board decided to invite those members of Movimento Cosecha GR to discuss the county's contract with ICE.

Activists are claiming that the contract with ICE is forcing county officials to separate undocumented immigration from their children, but according to Kent County deputies they do not make arrests on civil immigration charges.

When someone is arrested in the county their fingerprints are sent to the FBI, Homeland Security and then to the Immigration Customs Enforcement which isn't optional because it is the law, according to officials.

However according to county officials, their contract with ICE ensures that the agency reimburses them for any immigration-related arrests they make.

Last year, county officials say they made nearly $18,000 from the contract which is why protesters believe it's encouraging police officers to make more arrests. But that isn't true, according to county officials.

Recently the Board of Commissioners released a statement saying "commissioners have no direct oversight of or control over this agreement."

The meeting planned for 8:30 a.m. Thursday will allow those for and against the agreement to come forward to share their opinions.

The meeting is open to the public and will take place at the Kent County Administration Building on Monroe Avenue.