INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Sheriff is being called up on to end practices of arresting and holding illegal immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A group of immigrants, Faith in Indiana, and Rep. Andre Carson (D) took part in a town hall with Sheriff Kerry Forestal Tuesday evening to discuss the changes they’d like to see.
Most attending the town hall agreed that it’s wrong of the sheriff’s office to detain illegal immigrants on behalf of ICE.
“I am trying to be honest and straight with you,” said Forestal. “I believe personally we should do it the way you are asking, but I did raise my hand and swear not to just pick and choose the law that I thought was popular for the day, and that’s what I am bound by.”
A federal appellate court ruling that upheld an Indiana state law says that local law enforcement must cooperate with federal law enforcement. Sheriff Forestal said unless the federal court changes its decision he must comply with the law.
“It’s difficult what you’re asking me to do, and it’s easy for me to just say yes,” Forestal said. “To say that we create a policy that’s going to be above the ruling of a federal court … would not be truth on my part.”
At the moment, the Marion County Jail has no immigrants that it is detaining for ICE.
Rep. Andre Carson was the keynote speaker of the town hall and has been one of many Democratic lawmakers calling on President Biden to find better pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.