ICE contract protest disrupts meeting; 7 arrested
Grand Rapids – About 100 people protesting a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house detainees at a jail in western Michigan shut down a government meeting and police say seven were arrested for blocking traffic afterward.
The Grand Rapids Press reports Karla Barberi raised the issue at Thursday’s Kent County Board of Commissioners meeting. She’s a volunteer organizer with immigrant rights group Movimiento Cosecha GR.
Board Chairman Jim Saalfeld called for deputies to remove Barberi after she refused to sit, but she wasn’t removed. The meeting was suspended. Police blocked traffic as protesters marched, but those arrested refused to eventually clear the streets.
The contract, signed in 2012 and renewed in 2017, includes allowing the county jail to charge ICE for each day it holds a person with a detainment request.