SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The NORCOR regional county jail in The Dalles is the last remaining city, county or state jail in Oregon to house immigration detainees as two other jails ended their contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The city of Springfield and Josephine County have terminated deals with ICE that allows the agency to house immigrants who are living in or entering the country illegally in their jails.
NORCOR confirmed to KGW that it will keep its contract to house detainees. NORCOR board chair Thomas McCoy said the contract provides important revenue for the four counties it serves: Wasco, Hood River, Sherman and Gilliam.
"NORCOR has housed prisoners from ICE since it opened in 1999," McCoy said. "There was no controversy until President Trump was elected and the status of the many illegal immigrants became much more uncertain. I hope Congress will act to pass bi-partisan immigration reform that eliminates this uncertainty."
The jail has a policy to only house ICE detainees with current or pending criminal convictions, McCoy said.
Josephine County ended its contract with ICE to house detainees at the Josephine Jail on May 31st. The jail confirmed the termination to KGW on June 27.
ICE had been allowed to hold between two and five detainees a day at the southern Oregon jail. Josephine County said the decision was not political.
The Register-Guard reports the Springfield City Council voted unanimously Monday to end the ICE contract with the Springfield Police Department.
ICE had been allowed to rent up to five of the jail's 100 beds at a time for inmates transferred there from other ICE detention centers.
Community members and activists in Springfield have spoken out in protest against the ICE contract for months.
A City Council memo says the jail housed 92 ICE detainees last year. The jail held 40 to 50 ICE detainees a year in previous fiscal years.
Protests across the country are calling for an end to ICE, following President Trump's recent "zero tolerance" policy that separated more than 2,000 immigrant children from their families after they illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
A Portland protest has shut down an ICE holding facility since last week.
President Trump said his administration's immigration policy protects national security.