Rensselaer sheriff to renew ICE contract
Apr 10, 2019 2:30 pm
Kenneth C. Crowe II is reporting for the Times Union Rensselaer County Sheriff Patric Russo has announced he will renew the agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to participate in its controversial 287(g) program to check the immigration status of people incarcerated at the county jail. Two guards at the facility are trained and assigned to that task. Since September, two people were identified with immigration holds, according to jail records. Russo shrugs off the low number as easily as he does the complaints that erupted last year when he signed up with ICE for the training and to obtain computer access. “We haven’t had a lot of business. I see it as two criminals who aren’t out on the street. It’s about public safety,” said Russo, a Republican who is running unopposed for re-election to a second term in November. Russo intends to sign a new contract with ICE when the current agreement expires in June. The 287(g) program does not bring in any additional revenue to the county, whose 473-bed jail is nearly 40 percent empty on any given day, Russo said. Opponents of the program said that was one of the sheriff’s main selling points. Rensselaer County is the only county in New York that participates in the 287(g) program, and one of 68 counties out of more than 3,100 nationwide that signed up. Read the full story in the Times Union.