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Movimiento Cosecha GR meets with Commissioners and Sheriff Department

Courtesy of Movimiento Cosecha GR

17,000 concerned residents of Kent County have signed a petition asking the Kent County Commissioners and the Sherriff Department to end the contract with ICE. 

Gema Lowe, volunteer organizer for the group, expressed the urgency to end the contract. 

“The county jail says its okay to have ICE holds here and not just okay but we are making money of the pain of our families not just at the border but here in our local community is inhumane.” 

In 2017, the  contract between the Kent County Sheriff Department generated a revenue of $18,000. 

Jeff Smith, volunteer for Rapid Response to ICE, an organization helping individuals in Kent County who are being threatened by ICE, expressed a need to end the county’s complicity with the separation of families. 

“We are asking you to end the contract because its based upon the lived experiences of thousands of people in this community that we all know that we have come in contact with that we work with and that of them are in the room itself are affected by this kind of harm.” 

Chuck Dewitt, Chief Deputy, said that the contract would not change the way the jail currently operates.  

“Absent the contract that has been in place since 2012, for the most part the daily operations at the jail would be very much similar. The contract is a reimbursement model.”

By having the contract in place,   ICE is able to request a hold on the individual who is undocumented and remained housed in the Kent County correctional facility. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News 

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