Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director John Morton has offered to pay the costs of holding suspected illegal immigrants who are arrested for other crimes in Cook County, IL, as part of an effort to get county officials to reconsider their refusal to cooperate with federal detention requests.
In a letter, obtained by The Chicago Tribune, sent to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Morton offered to pay any additional expenses of holding inmates until they can be picked up for deportion proceedings.
Morton stated in the letter that the detainees would be picked up on the same day they've posted bail. Under his proposal, federal immigration officials would be stationed at Cook County jail and ICE would be notified in advance about when illegal immigrants were scheduled to be released.
Morton has harshly criticized a Cook County ordinance that orders the sheriff's office to ignore ICE detainers and release illegal immigrants who have been jailed on other charges after they've posted bail.
Preckwinkle's office in a statement said that she hopes to meet with Morton and others to discuss the ordinance.
Morton's recent letter is one of several he and Preckwinkle have sent each other over ordinance, which garnered national attention when it was approved last September.
In a Jan. 4 letter to Preckwinkle, Morgan argued that the ordinance passed in September 2011, violates federal immigration laws.
In early February, the county board held a four- hour hearing on the ordinance after Sheriff Tom Dart and others expressed concerns that illegal immigrants arrested for murder, assult and other major crimes were being allowed to walk free-some going on to commit more crimes.
The county board is expected to hold another hearing next month on amendments to the ordinance proposed by Sheriff Dart and two county commissioners.
Read the full story in The Chicago Tribune.
Updated: Thu, Jun 15th 2017 @ 4:19pm EDT