GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Kent County Sheriff's Department is changing its immigration policy regarding ICE detainees after ICE enforcers arrested a former Marine for possible deportation.
Immigration advocates say this is an example of why the county should dissolve its contract with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)
Several activists protested at Thursday morning's Kent County Commissioners meeting. The ACLU is calling for full disclosure on the investigation into Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a Grand Rapids native, who was arrested after trespassing and damaging a fire alarm at a Grand Rapids hospital. He was detained by ICE for three days in December after being released by the county for those infractions.
In response, Kent County Sheriff Michele Lajoye-Young changed their policy saying they will no longer detain immigrants for ICE unless there is a federal warrant issued by a judge. She also says the department is joining a larger movement to build an internal committee to better understand the needs of people of color.
The sheriff says that there have been a number of detainee requests by ICE, but those individuals have been released since there were not any federal warrants issued.
The county has a contract with ICE through August.