April 1st, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Cops and Courts, Activism, Immigration

Immigrant Groups Pull Back, Say They Don't Have an Opinion On ICE Holds Yet

ACT Network Backpedals After Blasting Sheriff Dan Staton's New Policy

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After sending out a scathing statement last Thursday, a coalition of immigrant rights groups is softening its original response to Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton's new policy surrounding U.S. Customs and Immigration retainers.

As WW first reported on March 27, Staton is planning to no longer honor federal ICE requests that he detain suspected undocumented immigrants who are brought into his jails for low-level, non-violent offenses. Staton, who had held out against pressure from immigrant rights groups and from the Multnomah Board of County Commissioners for more than two years, finally bowed to pressure.

Staton refused to speak with WW for the story, but did several TV news interviews after the story broke.

However, immigrant groups—who want to see Staton join law enforcement in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago in completely banning ICE from local jails—said the new policy doesn't go far enough.

The eight members of the ACT Network changed their minds over the weekend, and sent another letter to Staton and the county commissioners, saying they will "review the policy carefully before taking any further position."

Nicole Brown, Civic Engagement Coordinator with the Center for Intercultural Organizing, says the group met with the sheriff this morning to read over the policy.

"As we said in the letter to the commissioners and the sheriff, we are taking time to better understand the details of the policy before taking any further position," she tells WW in an email. "We reviewed the policy for the first time this morning, and will be in touch about our position in the near future."

Here's the letter the groups sent on Saturday:

Commissioners and Sheriff Staton,

The following is in regards to the ACT Press Release sent on Thursday, March 28th, 2013 in acknowledgement that it was sent as a reaction to the Willamette Week article about the proposed detainer policy, and not the policy itself.  

The ACT Network would like to recognize the hard work that went into the ICE Detainer proposal. We appreciate the Sheriff's and the Chair's commitment to reaching a compromise that will help keep many families together, and we view this as progress towards increasing public safety for all. We will review the policy carefully before taking any further position.

While the Network will stay true to its principles of ending Police/ICE Collaboration in Multnomah County, we look forward to Monday's informational session, to learn more about the Sheriff's new policy and continue amicable dialogue on this most important of issues.
 
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