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Jail Trust Comes Close To Voting ICE Out Of Oklahoma's Largest County Jail

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The Oklahoma County Jail Trust came close Monday to voting ICE out of the state’s largest county jail. But, the attempt failed because the trust didn’t have enough 'yes' votes. It’s unclear when the trust might consider the issue again.

The motion was an attempt to remove an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent from the Oklahoma County Jail. The agent currently helps screen detainees citizenship status.

A staff attorney for the jail told trust members state law requires jail staff to make reasonable efforts to determine some detainees’ citizenship or immigration status.

The jail’s administrator, Greg Williams, said the ICE agent is the primary interpreter for Spanish speaking detainees.

Trust member Francie Ekwerekwu said that was a conflict of interest. Ekwerekwu argued it is possible to follow the law without housing an ICE agent inside the jail.

Four trust members voted to remove the ICE agent, while two voted against and one abstained. Trust Chair Tricia Everest attended the meeting remotely and left before the vote.

The Trust needed a total of five ‘yes’ votes to pass the motion.

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