Plymouth: Plymouth County Sheriff and ICE Officials Hold Forum on 287(g)

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department held a public meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for people to ask questions about the 287(g) program.

The program is one where state and local police work with the federal government to enforce immigration law.

Since October 2017 to this month, Sheriff McDonald says five people were repatriated out of 5,540 people that were taken into the Plymouth County Correctional Facility.

He says there were 355 (1.08%) encounters with ICE of that total. Of those 355, 60 were deemed actionable encounters. Detainers were lodged for 53 people, and 13 people were taken into ICE custody.

“There’s no question in mind that these are individuals that we do not want prowling our communities, victimizing anybody,” said McDonald. “As I said during the course of this meeting, I think the most likely victims are going to be other members of the immigrant community. I feel very strongly, I have a responsibility to the public safety of everybody in Plymouth County, whether they’re tourists, residents, immigrants – illegal or otherwise.”

Protesters unfurled banners that read “Nobody is Illegal” and “Keep Families Together, Stop Deportation” The protesters left without asking questions, and did not respond to a request from WATD for comment. Questions from those in attendance focused on the separation of families.

Todd Lyons, the Acting Field Office Director for ICE, says that the agency has been caught up in “political rhetoric.”

“There’s misconceptions out there that it’s just one large, sweeping agency that arrests non-citizen or foreign-born person in the United States,” said Lyons. “The common person, the public, is not seeing that these are pretty serious, aggressive, heinous crimes that we’re helping to remove those actors out of the community.”

While McDonald said while these forums are held annually, they would look into holding them more frequently to hear concerns.

From right: Sheriff Joe McDonald and Todd Lyons, the Acting Field Office Director for ICE. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

From right: Sheriff Joe McDonald and Todd Lyons, the Acting Field Office Director for ICE. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Protesters held a sign that read "Nobody is Illegal." Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Protesters held a sign that read “Nobody is Illegal.” Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Protesters held a sign that read "Keep Families Together Stop Deportations." Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Protesters held a sign that read “Keep Families Together Stop Deportations.” Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.


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About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny left the City of Boston and now lives in Rockland. Lenny has covered both news and sports, from the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com