A high-ranking official from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) blasted Hudson County for terminating their 287g agreement, exclaiming “the security needs of citizens should be the priority, not sheltering criminal aliens.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œICE regrets the loss of such a strong public safety partnership with the termination of the Hudson County 287(g) program,â€ Newark Field Office Director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) John Tsoukaris exclusively told Hudson County View in a statement.
â€œ … While ICE will continue to work with Hudson County within the allowed parameters, as a law enforcement officer sworn to uphold public safety, I find this decision troubling, as the security needs of citizens should be the priority, not sheltering criminal aliens. For the record, the Hudson county 287g program resulted in 3,226 encounters and 158 removals since it began in 2014.â€
Earlier this month, in an unexpected move, the county terminated their agreement with 287g after activists had begun expressing concerns after theÂ death of immigrant detaineeÂ Rolando Meza Espinoza in June.
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise pointed to bail reform changes as the main reason why 287g was no longer as effective as it used to be.
County spokesman James Kennelly elaborated on that point when asked to respond to Tsoukaris’ remarks.
â€œSince January 2017, New Jersey bail reform has significantly lowered the total number of arrestees being processed at the jail. As a result, we believe the current agreement with ICE was no longer of significant public safety value and saw no recent statistics from them to contradict that,” he said in an email.
“We modified the agreement as best we could with changes in County policy after the discontinuation of the PEP standard by the Trump Administration in January, 2017, but ensuring that we carried out the agreement in the spirit it was entered into was burdensome and ultimately not a significant positive from a law enforcement perspective.â€