Wednesday, April 25, 2012

InSecure Communities 2: May 3rd, 2012

Sheriff Agrees to Suspend ICE ‘Holds’ of Immigrants

New Policy to be discussed at May 3rd ‘InSecure Communities’ Meeting

For more information
Mike Doyle:  . 217-337-1500

On March 8, Sheriff Dan Walsh notified the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of Homeland Security that Champaign County would no longer honor ICE requests to hold immigrants under the controversial “Secure Communities” federal deportation program.  In his letter to ICE officials, Sheriff Walsh indicated that the County would only turn over inmates in the County jail to ICE officials if they have a warrant or court order, but that his “office will not hold inmates based on a routine detainer” (Sheriff’s 3/8/2012 Letter to ICE).

The C-U Immigration Forum released a report in November 2011 which showed that 7 out of 10 Champaign County inmates turned over to ICE had no criminal record and made a request for the suspension of holds under “Secure Communities” at a community forum on December 1, 2011.

“We are encouraged and pleased with the Sheriff’s decision; his reading of the law agrees with ours. We also think it is the right thing to do for Champaign county for a wide variety of reasons,” explained Jack Wilkie, a member of the Champaign-Urbana Immigration Forum, “The stated goal of the policy was to remove dangerous criminals from our community. The fact is ICE’s own data demonstrated that this is not what was happening. The vast majority of people being stopped and handed over to ICE had no criminal record.” 

The C-U Immigration Forum has been in communication with the sheriff for the last year including a meeting with him on April 13 to discuss the new policy.  The Forum has scheduled a community meeting on Thursday, May 3rd at 7 PM in the Champaign Library to update the community on the new policy and the steps being taken for its implementation and has extended invitations to the Sheriff and local police chiefs.   

Who:  C-U Immigration Forum, local law enforcement representatives
When:  Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00 PM
Where: Champaign Public Library
What: Update on Secure Communities Program

Download Flyer PDF here.