State Watch

Michigan city declines to renew contract with ICE to hold detainees

The city of Dearborn, Mich., announced Wednesday that it would not renew its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold its detainees.

Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly Jr. said the city, which had held thousands of immigrant detainees in the past, will no longer voluntarily work with ICE, according to The Detroit News, following backlash from religious and activist groups.

"The mayor withdrew the recommendation for the renewal of the contract with Calhoun County to house the city of Dearborn's misdemeanor prisoners for extended sentences in light of concerns about the portion of the contract that called for Dearborn to continue to house Calhoun County's ICE prisoners for very short-term stays," city spokeswoman Mary Laundroche told the News. 

An ICE official reportedly said that the city of Dearborn's call will not interfere with its operations.

The Hill has reached out to ICE for comment.

The decision not to renew the contract comes after protesters demonstrated outside the Dearborn Police Department last week as part of a nationwide #CloseTheCamps campaign.

Michigan Democratic Reps. Debbie Dingell, Andy Levin and Rashida Tlaib joined the demonstration.

Dearborn had renewed contracts with ICE annually for more than 10 years. The contract outlined that Dearborn police would hold ICE detainees in its 20-bed facility in exchange for sending up to 20 long-term prisoners to the Battle Creek jail.

A county jail in California last year made a similar decision to end its contract with ICE.