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Law enforcement agencies ditch ICE over Trump’s family separations

Three California law enforcement agencies have now canceled contracts with ICE due to Trump’s inhumane policies.

By Eric Boehlert - July 11, 2018
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Donald Trump

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department this week became California’s third law enforcement agency to cut ties with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as Trump’s inhumane “zero tolerance” crusade continues to spark a nationwide backlash.

Across the state, ICE contracts with several jails and prisons to house nearly 4,000 people facing deportation.

But Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston announced Tuesday that his county will cancel its contract with ICE, due in part to the rising costs of dealing with community protests outside facilities that ICE uses to house detainees, especially one jail located in Richmond, California.

“Managing protests in Richmond have become expensive and time-consuming for our staff,” the sheriff told the Associated Press.

At a recent daylong rally on June 26, community activists gathered outside the Richmond detention facility to denounce ICE and Trump’s practice of ripping families apart at the border.

“The county has a contract with ICE, and our community doesn’t want that,” local activist Kimberly Aceves-Iniguez said at the time.

County Supervisor John Gioia, who represents the city where the jail is located, agrees and applauded the decision to end the ICE contract.

“The price that we pay in the erosion of trust with our immigrant families is a good reason to cancel the contract,” Gioia said.

Monterey County ended its contract with ICE in December, the AP reports, and Sacramento County did the same last month.

Officials in California aren’t the only ones anxious to distance themselves from ICE and its trauma-inducing practices.

Last month, the sheriff of El Paso, Texas, decided he wanted nothing to do with Trump’s abusive tactic of separating families, and barred his deputies from working at a nearby “tent city” housing migrant children who have been stolen from their parents.

The sheriff’s office had been approached by federal officials asking him to provide off-duty deputies for security work at the Tornillo, Texas, tent city. But he declined.

“I just thought that if the citizens saw that we were working there in an off-duty capacity, it may be [seen] as if we were approving of the administration’s policy, and it would hurt our relationship with the community that we serve,” Sheriff Richard Wiles explained at the time.

Wiles isn’t alone.

Other law enforcement chiefs are also worried about tarnishing their departments by aiding Trump’s heartless abuse of families.

Houston’s police chief, Art Acevedo, has publicly condemned the administration.

And so did Ed Gonzalez, the sheriff of Harris County, Texas. “Separating families harms children,” he said. “To me, it’s an affront to our American values.”

More and more law enforcement officials who care about their communities are rejecting Trump’s cruelty.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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