END BARNSTABLE COUNTY'S DEAL WITH ICE

END BARNSTABLE COUNTY'S DEAL WITH ICE

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Cape Cod Coalition for Safe Communities started this petition to Barnstable County Sheriff Cummings

We the citizens of Barnstable County MA demand that you terminate your 287(g) contract with ICE.

No Public Safety Benefit:  While you have cited public safety to justify your 287(g) program, it does not in fact empower you to take criminals off the street.  All it does is allow you to charge individuals already in your custody with additional immigration offenses.  Furthermore, a public safety study from Utah State University concludes that there is “no evidence of reduction in crime because of 287(g) agreements.”

Injustice:  Your 287(g) allows deputized officers to interrogate inmates as an ICE agent, without informing them of their constitutional rights to remain silent or have counsel present.  The Miranda warning only applies to criminal charges, not immigration charges, creating an unjust loophole in the treatment of immigrants.  Even worse, the current 287(g) agreement no longer requires that an individual’s criminal process be prioritized and completed before s/he can be taken into ICE detention.  This means they would not even be guaranteed their day in court, or even be guilty of the charges that brought them to you in the first place.  Someone therefore could wind up deported for a frivolous charge or possibly no crime at all.

Negative Community Impact:  While you say your program comes into play only within the walls of the jail, its impact is felt outside as well.  When non-citizens are brought into a jail that has a 287(g) agreement, they eventually disappear into federal custody. But all that their families know is that they were picked up by police and later deported, creating mistrust that undermines community policing efforts which do make us safer.  Immigrants become reluctant to report crime.  Even worse, an abuser or sex trafficker can more easily exploit the immigration status of their victim.  Such were the findings of a recent study from Utah State University, which shows that ending these programs actually helps reduce domestic homicide rates.

Cost to Taxpayers:  Your 287(g) is a program that runs federal operations on state tax dollars.  As ICE's spokesperson put it, it’s a force multiplier for them; it allows them to claim local resources and manpower, expanding operations beyond their Congressionally approved budgets.  In fact, it amounts to an in-kind donation to ICE at our expense.  Because Massachusetts does not mandate you demonstrate 287(g) program expenditures, there isn’t any clear mechanism in place to report the accounting of this program; and hence, no proof to your claim that your officers perform these duties in their spare time. 

Conflict with State Law:  Under terms of the Supreme Judicial Court’s 2017 ruling in the Lunn case, no law enforcement agency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can honor an ICE detainer.  ICE detainers are requests from ICE to hold an individual in state custody up to 48 hours, even though they are otherwise eligible for release.  Compliance is forbidden in Massachusetts, however the agreement you signed in March 2020 mandates a 48 hour ICE hold.  The legal jeopardy of this provision is obvious, and already the basis of a lawsuit before the Supreme Judicial Court. 

Finally, the 287(g) program is optional, not mandatory, and entirely extra-curricular as far as job duties of a sheriff under the Massachusetts state constitution.  It’s not necessary to have one; and the fact that most sheriffs in our state don’t have one plainly attests to that.  These deals are arranged directly with ICE and not put forth to the public for a vote.  The only reason we have a 287(g) in place here is because you volunteered for it.

Since it brings no benefit, only harm and liability to our county, we demand that you terminate your 287(g) deal with ICE.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!