Cook County to ICE: You can take the check

Get ready for some great news and some awesome activism:

On Monday, September 26th, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle signed an ordinance that would require ICE to reimburse the county for costs incurred due to holding people in jails for longer than local law allows.

Naturally, ICE doesn’t want to foot the bill. But Cook County refuses to do the dirty work anymore- the ordinance passed on a 10-5 vote.

Via Nathan Ryan:

What the ordinance will do:

  • This ordinance makes us safer, ends an unfunded mandate, and protects families. Public safety is improved if immigrants cooperate with police. When local police get involved in federal immigration enforcement, immigrants may fear interacting with police, and trust between police officers and law-abiding immigrants diminishes. Fewer people are willing to report crimes and serve as witnesses.
  • End unfunded mandate and honor Cook County taxpayers. Currently, Cook County is forced to pay as much as $15.7 million annually to do the federal government’s job of immigration enforcement. Cook County tax dollars should go to Cook County services, especially at a time when our County is strapped for cash.
  • This ordinance protects families. Many of the people getting caught up in immigration enforcement are hard-working children and families of U.S. citizens, who pose no danger. The Obama administration has said it wants to prioritize its efforts on dangerous criminals. This ordinance advances that effort by requiring the federal government to use its discretion on who it wants to hold.
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