A sheriff in Butler County, Ohio, on May 26 announced that his office is ending its relationship with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to prevent the Biden administration from releasing illegal immigrants into the community.
In a news release on May 26, Sheriff Richard K. Jones’ office said that it has notified the agency that it will no longer accept detainees at the Butler County Jail, effective immediately. Jones is also terminating a contract with ICE that has since 2003 allowed it to house illegal immigrants while they are awaiting immigration hearings, the release states.
“I stand by Corrections Facility and my Staff!” Jones said on Twitter.
He said he believes Butler County Jail staff operate an “efficient correctional facility” and that federal officials “continue to add unreasonable and cost prohibitive mandates to hold these illegal immigrants.”
“With the crisis at the border getting worse, it concerns me that the feds will ship detainees to my facility, then release them to the streets of my community under some technicality. It’s better to just end this arrangement now, than to let that happen,” Jones said in a written statement.
He added: “Unlike this current administration, I’m still a firm believer that our government should strictly enforce the immigration laws and I will continue to promote that stance at every opportunity.”
According to the sheriff, there are currently some 50 ICE detainees in the county jail, and the agency has 60 days to remove them, FOX 19 reported.
“They gotta house them somewhere, but they’re not going to house them here. I’m not going to drink the Kool-Aid,” Sheriff Jones said.
ICE didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.
The decision comes as arrests and detentions at the U.S.–Mexico border hit record levels last month, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data published on May 11.
Immigration arrests and detentions at the southern border last month rose by 3 percent from March, to 178,622—the highest one-month total in 20 years, CBP data show.
Last month’s figures, however, marked the first month since President Joe Biden took office that the CBP didn’t record a major month-on-month jump in the number of border arrests and detentions, despite reaching record levels.
While the Biden administration has called the unprecedented surge in numbers a “challenge,” neither the president nor the vice president has visited the border.
On April 25, when a reporter asked Harris why she hasn’t visited the southern border, she replied, “I’m not going to play political games.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on May 4, “After coming into office, our administration immediately jumped into action to address the influx of migrants at the border—something that began during and was exacerbated by the Trump administration.”