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  1. #1
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    ICE detainees on the rise at Grand Forks jail

    ICE detainees on the rise at Grand Forks jail

    Today at 6:00 a.m.

    Grand Forks County Correctional Center Administrator Bret Burkholder says a program allowing inmates to communicate to the
    outside world via text messaging has been a great success. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

    An operation across the Midwest this month by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents resulted in the arrest of 86 foreign nationals. The four captured in North Dakota made temporary stops in Grand Forks as part of an agreement that is critical for the jail's budget.

    The Grand Forks County Correctional Center serves as a staging area for federal suspects detained at the northern border by U.S. Border Patrol and ICE detainees from across the state before they are sent to federal facilities in the Twin Cities, jail administrator Bret Burkholder said. The Grand Forks correctional officers transport ICE detainees to the Minneapolis area, and the local correctional center is reimbursed for mileage and hours by the federal government.
    Revenue source

    In recent years, the jail has earned $1.6 to $2 million housing inmates from federal agencies and neighboring counties, Burkholder said. The correctional center had $6,063,067 in expenses and $2,385,657 in revenue in 2016, according to Grand Forks County Auditor Debbie Nelson. Federal inmate housing represented 81 percent of the jail's revenue.

    "That, in my opinion, is pretty dramatic," Burkholder said. "If you, as a taxpayer, just took that $2 million and divided it by the number of tax-paying entities in the county, that's a substantial amount. We're doing our best to make sure we don't lose that income, because that will cost all of us as taxpayers more money."

    The number of ICE prisoners held in Grand Forks dropped steadily throughout President Barack Obama's administration, but figures from the first two months of President Donald Trump's tenure indicate the number is back on the rise.

    "It continually went down every year," Burkholder said of the Obama years. "Now, with President Trump, things are changing a little bit."

    In 2008, ICE inmates accounted for 11,257 "bed days" at the Grand Forks County Correctional Center, meaning that on any given day the jail had about 31 ICE detainees. A bed day is roughly calculated as a day in which an inmate stays overnight.

    "That was actively working with ICE to say 'use us, and don't just use us as a staging area, house them here,'" Burkholder said.

    Burkholder said that number steadily dropped throughout the Obama administration to 1,319 bed days in 2016.

    For the first two months of 2017, the jail has recorded 417 days for ICE detainees, on pace for about 2,500 days or double last year's number, and Burkholder thinks the pace will pick up.

    As ICE numbers began to drop during the Obama administration, Burkholder worked to secure a contract with the U.S. Marshals Service to give the jail steady income from federal agencies. It worked.

    In 2016, when ICE bed numbers dropped to an eight-year low, U.S. Marshals inmates peaked at 18,928 days in the jail. This year, Burkholder said ICE bed days in Grand Forks are back on the rise, and U.S. Marshal figures are shrinking.

    "We're maintaining pretty much the same population constantly, it's just who are those people we're maintaining," Burkholder said.

    The jail averaged 198 total inmates per day last year and currently averages 205 inmates per day.
    March roundup

    ICE announced an operation that arrested 86 foreign nationals across North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska during a three-day period that ended March 9. The arrests included: 26 in Minnesota, 32 in Nebraska, 23 in Iowa, four in North Dakota and one in South Dakota.

    An ICE official contacted by the Herald said he could not provide a breakdown of the four individuals arrested in North Dakota.

    "This Midwest March 2017 operation specifically targeted public-safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members and individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the United States after being deported, and immigration fugitives with final orders of deportation by a federal immigration judge," ICE wrote in a news release about the raid.

    ICE officials say they often encounter other individuals without legal status when conducting operations, and that those cases are handled on a case-by-case basis. They denied reports of immigration sweeps or checkpoints.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    GO ICE GO!! GO!!
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2006
    What's wrong with checkpoints and immigration sweeps?

    Stop with the mealy-mouthed statements.

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