To the Editor:
McHenry County’s contract with ICE should be canceled. Michael Buehler and members of the McHenry County Board should stop utilizing our jail space for immigration detention – a harmful system which undermines community safety. Consider these examples:
A father is picked up by immigration on a decades-old, low-level charge which he long thought was in his past. He eventually wins his immigration case, but by then his children are traumatized, and the whole family is homeless. Are we safer?
An asylum seeker arrives seeking safety from persecution in her home country. We immediately lock her up. She wins her case after two years, then the government appeals the case and she must continue to wait in jail until the long appeals process is completed. We taxpayers have now spent over $100,000 to keep her in lock-up, even though she never violated any law. Are we safer?
Some people defending this system say that detention is needed to ensure people show up for their immigration court dates. That is simply not true. Study after study has shown that the vast majority of immigrants show up for court when they are not confined. Jailing people for no valid reason is against our values, and as a resident of McHenry County, I want no part of it.
Source: The Daily Chronicle