Announced via press release today:
In response to concerns regarding potential ICE activity, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has released the following statement:
“Across the nation, there is growing concern about potential raids this weekend by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that may target undocumented immigrant communities for mass deportation.
As of now, Howard County Government has not received any reports of ICE raids in Howard County, but we encourage all undocumented people to be aware of their rights. More information and resources can be found here in English and Español.
I want to reiterate our continued position: Howard County Police do not and will not assist ICE in the enforcement of civil violations of federal immigration laws. Officers in Howard County do not ask residents about their immigration status, nor do they contact ICE if they learn of a civil violation of federal immigration laws.
Howard County is fortunate to be filled with residents from all over the world. More than one-fifth of our residents were born in another country. In our schools, you can hear 82 different languages being spoken. We are the best county in the nation, not in spite of these facts, but because of them.
Our government remains dedicated to our shared values and to promoting public safety for all. Standing together, we can hold strong against forces that would tear us apart, united by our common humanity.”
Howard County Department of Corrections Director Jack Kavanagh has released the following statement:
“In the Department of Corrections, we are responsible for management of the Central Booking Facility and the Detention Center. All our staff are dedicated professionals committed to implementing best practices in the corrections profession and to serving the community by enhancing public safety.
We process all individuals arrested in Howard County by various State and local law enforcement agencies and detain those committed for trial, as well as those sentenced up to 18 months. In addition, we also house ICE detainees who have been convicted of and/or charged with crimes and completed intake processing by ICE. However, when ICE makes an arrest, they do not bring them to our detention center or central booking facility to be processed. They come to us after they intake process them or they have been released from a State or Federal prison after completing a sentence for a crime and have a deportation order as the result of that conviction.
It is the policy of the Howard County Department of Corrections to only accept detainees from ICE who are criminally involved. This includes:
- Those convicted of crimes
- Those charged with jailable offenses
- Those who are members of criminal gangs
- Those who are deported criminal felons who have illegally reentered the United States
Howard County does not and will not assist ICE in detaining people who are being charged with civil violation of federal immigration laws. Our focus will continue to be furthering the administration of justice and ensuring public safety in Howard County.”
If you see or hear of ICE related activity happening around Howard County this weekend…let me know.
Image above sourced from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_arrest.jpg