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Sheriff considers dropping ICE holds on some people

Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton, working closely with county commissioners, proposes to stop detaining people in county jails if the only charge against them is illegal immigration into the country.

Staton will go before the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners next week seeking a resolution to adopt a new protocol for immigration holds requested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as I-247 detainer requests.

Henceforth, the sheriff would not comply with the I-247 requests unless there are additional concerns about the individual, such as felony convictions, an outstanding warrant for the individual’s arrest or an order for their deportation. Felonies related to illegal entry are exempted from the factors to be considered.

County officials say some individuals don’t report being victimized by crimes because of fear of being deported.

Officials also are citing budgetary limitations as a reason for limiting immigration-related detainees.

Ordinarily, local law enforcement agencies are required to hold detainees for up to 48 hours if the federal immigration agency, known as ICE, issues an I-247 request.

In a prepared statement, Staton said he has been discussing the issue for eight months, in light of concerns raised. “These modifications will assist in addressing the concerns and requests for changes that have been brought to the Sheriff over the course of this dialogue, to help minimize impacts, and continue to ensure the safety of the citizens of Multnomah County during budgetary struggles facing public safety,” Staton said in the statement.

The county commissioners will consider the resolution in support of the new policy at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, April 4, at the county headquarters at 501 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.

Terms of the resolution and policy change are subject to change before the hearing, said Lt. Steve Alexander, public information officer for Sheriff Staton