Bristol County sheriff urges Homeland Security to reinstate ICE contracts

SE Mass

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas over his recent decision to end the jail’s contract with immigration and customs enforcement (ICE).

Last month, the Bristol County Prison was told it would no longer be used to detain immigrants due to complaints of inhumane conditions.

Mayorkas said ending the use of the facilities is part of an effort to make “lasting improvements” to a detention system that advocates have long argued detains people for civil immigration offenses for too long and in inappropriately harsh conditions.

Hodgson sent a letter on Wednesday saying Mayorkas’ decision is “unjust, dangerous, and flat out wrong.”

“I urge you to immediately reinstate our partnerships with ICE and publicly apologize to my dedicated, professional staff that you demonized and embarrassed with your reckless, politically motivated decision,” Hodgson wrote

“You state that there is ‘ample evidence that the Detention Center’s treatment of detained individuals and the conditions of detention are unacceptable.’ What evidence are you referring to?” Hodgson continued. “You can’t be talking about the 20-plus years of federal audits and inspections your office has done on the BCSO’s ICE operation, because we’ve passed every single one over the last two decades.”

Hodgson also blasted Mayorkas’ claim that the canceled 287(g) program is “no longer operationally needed.”

“Describing a key public safety program that keeps dangerous criminal illegal aliens off the streets as ‘no longer operationally needed’ shows your complete disregard for the safety and security of the people of Bristol County and the United States of America, and puts the pro-illegal immigrant political agenda of the Biden Administration in the spotlight,” he wrote.

Hodgson ended his letter by asking Mayorkas to rightfully deliver the celebratory plaque to honor the BCSO’s perfect 100% score on the recent federal 287(g) audit, which has been at the Boston ICE Field Office for months.

“While I fully recognize delivering this plaque flies in the face of your reasoning for ending our ICE operation, the right thing to do would be to send the plaque to my office so I can present it to my hard-working staff,” he wrote. “They deserve the award DHS made for them. Please do the right thing and let them have it.”

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