ICE agents Available, Space Provided in Oklahoma County Jail
Mike Seals - October 20, 2020 10:44 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A panel decided for a second time to keep federal immigration enforcement officers in the Oklahoma County Jail, bringing heated clashes between people for and against the ban.
The Oklahoma County Jail Trust voted at a Monday meeting to continue providing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers space at the jail and remain compliant with detainer requests, which seek to hold prisoners past their release date so ICE can evaluate whether they should face deportation proceedings.
The ban needed five votes to pass, but only four members voted in favor of it. Two trustees opposed, two abstained and one was not present.
People for and against the ICE ban clashed after the vote at Monday’s meeting, prompting officers to stand between the two groups.
“There’s no state or county law that requires us … to have any presence of an ICE officer at the jail,” Trustee Francie Ekwerekwu, who voted in favor of banning ICE agents, said during the meeting.
Meanwhile, Trustee Kevin Calvey, who voted to keep ICE officers in the jail, said he wants the jail to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Calvey said many jails around the country and some in Oklahoma comply with ICE.
The panel voted earlier this month to continue allowing ICE agents to access the Oklahoma County jail.