Butler County sheriff: We will no longer hold detainees awaiting immigration hearings

The Butler County sheriff said today he will end a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that included housing detainees awaiting immigration hearings in the Butler County Jail.

The facility at 705 Hanover Street houses inmates from county jurisdictions as well as those in cooperation with the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Bureau of Prisons.

The county has had a contract with ICE since approximately 2003, Sheriff Richard Jones said. The most recent deal was signed in June 2020 and says the term will last until “either party terminates or suspends” it.

The Butler County Jail is one of five Ohio facilities used by ICE for detentions. The others are in Bedford Heights, Chardon, Mt. Gilead and Tiffin, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.

“We operate an efficient correctional facility, and federal officials continue to add unreasonable and cost prohibitive mandates to hold these illegal immigrants,” Jones said in the statement. “With the crisis at the border getting worse, it concerns me that the feds will ship detainees to my facility, then release them to the streets of my community under some technicality.

“It’s better to just end this arrangement now, than to let that happen. Unlike this current administration, I’m still a firm believer that our government should strictly enforce the immigration laws and I will continue to promote that stance at every opportunity.”

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