WISH TV 8 Staff Report
May 4, 2021
A group of people Tuesday night called on Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal to put an end to holding immigrants without charges at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A group of immigrants and Faith in Indiana leaders called the sheriff’s practice unconstitutional. They say they would like to see Forestal take part in a conversation to create policies and make Indiana more inclusive.
The people talked during a virtual town hall called “Freedom Together.”
U.S. Rep. André Carson, a Democrat from Indianapolis, was the keynote speaker. Carson has asked President Joe Biden to add a way for essential workers to get citizenship in his Build Back Better Plan.
Both an immigration lawyer and the Marion County sheriff told News 8 they would like to see change.
Jess Hunter-Bowman, an immigration attorney with the National Immigrant Justice Center, said local law-enforcement participation and immigration enforcement erodes trust in local communities. Plus, local communities are less likely to report crimes or seek protection from law enforcement when they are victims of crime. If I was asked ‘Would you support removing that opportunity to be held on detainers?’ yes, I would support that position.”
Hundreds of U.S. cities have already banned the practice of law enforcement detaining people for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.