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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Two Kent County Commissioners commit to ending the county's contract with ICE

The protestors presented the commission a letter they had drafted on behalf of the Kent County Commission stating an end to the contract with ICE.   

Commissioners Robert Womack, representing Grand Rapids and Betsy Melton, representing the Kentwood, signed the letter. 

“ICE is doing things that is unconstitutional. They are doing things that is violating human rights. People don’t really understand that when they pull over anyone Hispanic the first they are thinking is where is your green card. Who wants to be harassed all the time.” 

Commissioner Melton requested the commission board to look seriously at Kent County Sheriff Department’s contract with ICE. 

“It is something that I feel very very passionate about and very strong that I would like for this Kent County Commission Board to look very seriously at this.” 

The contract allows the department to collaborate with ICE and was signed in 2012. On August of 2017, the Kent County Commission Board approved its extension.  

The board office released a statement before the public meeting stating they have no direct oversight or control over the contract.

Two weeks ago, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department in northern California ended  a contract with ICE to house suspects facing deportation. The contract generated a revenue to the county of $3 million dollars. The funds lost will be filled through state funds. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News 

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