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Rensselaer County Sheriff still applying to work on deporting immigrants

Nov 22, 2017 2:55 pm
Massarah Mikati reports in the Albany Times Union that in October Rensselaer County Sheriff Patrick Russo submitted an application to work with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) program. While Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple pulled his application after hearing criticism, Russo is forging ahead despite protests from 20 organizations, including the New York Immigration Coalition and New York Civil Liberties Union, and a letter with hundreds of signatures sent Nov. 7 urging him to withdraw the application. Russo is applying to work with ICE on the 287(g) program to increase revenue because, "ICE would pay us to house ICE detainees in our facility." But others worry about the county's participation with the federal group that deports immigrants. "The program has raised a lot of red flags and concerns not just for immigrant communities, but for law enforcement, and the budget implications for the local communities," said Anu Joshi, immigration policy director of the New York Immigration Coalition. Russo was not clear on how much money, if any, the county will make under the program. "I don't know how this is going to work out because I don't know the volume of people we'll be housing," Russo said, "but I do think if we house a number of people it could offset the cost." Melanie Trimble, director of the NYCLU Capital Region Chapter, listed a different cost of the program. "Just knowing an agreement like this exists in the county is enough to cause the community to feel unsafe and not trustworthy of law enforcement officers.... Plus, ICE is already strongly present in the area — there's no need to deputize local officers." Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.