Lake County Considers Resolution Supporting ICE
Lake County Commissioners are considering a resolution expressing support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
That and another resolution on immigration drew dozens of people to commissioners’ chambers for a meeting on Thursday. After a lengthy hearing, commissioners tabled the measures until the next meeting on Aug. 16.
These are the latest immigration-related measures to come before a local government in the county. Painesville, the county seat, is home to a large community of immigrants from Mexico. About 24 percent of the population in the city is Hispanic.
Republican County Commissioner Jerry Cirino framed the resolution backing ICE as a response to calls by some Democratic candidates to abolish the agency.
“I get tired of hearing about all of these folks calling for the elimination of ICE,” Cirino said. “And I thought, you know what? I know one thing about Lake County, we like law enforcement and we like safety in our community.”
County Commission President John R. Hamercheck, a Republican, said the resolution supporting ICE emulated a similar measure passed by the U.S. House.
A separate proposal by Daniel Troy, the lone Democrat on the commission, called ICE’s mission necessary, but said it should be clarified with the passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
Troy, who is on the ballot this year, suggested election-year politics were behind the Republican measure.
“Personally, I think maybe it has a little bit to do with the fact that we’re in the silly season of politics,” he said. “And that we can get somebody to cast a vote the wrong way, and we can say, ‘He’s for open borders and not protecting our country.’”
Public discussion took up much of the meeting, which lasted more than two hours.
“There are many people in this room who do not think the efforts of ICE have been heroic in separating families and children and putting them in detention centers,” Lois Osborn of Painesville said, referring to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy.
Opponents of the pro-ICE resolution were more vocal and brought more numbers to the meeting, although several people did speak up to support it.
“We are a country of laws,” John Muzik of Painesville Township said. “Every government official should agree with the laws of this country. If you don’t like the laws, get them changed.”
Osborn and others at the meeting said they would plan a forum on the issue before the next commission meeting.
Mobile users can read the resolutions here.