Members of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with members of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) have little to say about Nashville no longer housing ICE detainees.
As The Tennessee Star reported earlier this week, Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall announced his office will no longer contract to house ICE detainees under an agreement with the US. Marshals.
The new policy goes into effect on December 1.
A U.S. Marshals official, speaking on background only, said the agency has no responsibility for, or involvement with, the custody of ICE detainees.
“While the U.S. Marshals Service allows ICE as an authorized agency on some of our intergovernmental agreements for detention services with state and local jail facilities, ICE can operate under those agreements and/or separate agreements, of which we have no involvement,” the official said.
The official went on to say the USMS does not discuss negotiations regarding intergovernmental agreements with state and local facilities.
“If an IGA facility would like an agency removed as an authorized agency on the agreement, the responsible party would contact the Prisoner Operations Division at U.S. Marshals Service Headquarters,” the official said.
The officials referred the rest of our questions to ICE, but ICE spokesman Bryan Cox little to say.
“We are aware of the (Nashville) announcement and want more information,” Cox told The Star.
“We are waiting for greater clarity from the sheriff as to what he intends to do. We can’t speak to this as it is not an agreement with us,” he added.
Hall, a Democrat, decided to do this after he met with local advocacy groups, Mayor John Cooper, Metro council members, and what a press release described as internal stakeholders.
“The continued confusion and hyper-political nature of this issue has become a distraction from sheriff’s office priorities,” the press release quoted Hall as saying. “The number of individuals detained as a result of this contract is less than one percent of overall jail bookings; however, I spend an inordinate amount of my time debating its validity.”
Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Karla West told The Tennessee Star in an email this week that members of that office want to address what they describe as more pressing issues.
“It is time to move on and bring focus to issues, such as mental health, which impacts 30 percent of the population,” West said.
“Truth is, there are people on the extreme right of this subject and extreme left (hyper-political) and neither wants to listen to the facts if it doesn’t support their beliefs. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office has been dealing with this subject for 15 years, and we have overestimated people’s interest in the facts,” she added.
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