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Coalition urges local police to drop ties with federal immigration enforcement

(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 27, 2019 at 7:34 PM EDT
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A campaign was launched on Saturday to urge local police departments and sheriff's offices not to collaborate with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Friends United for Equity and Grassroots (FUEGO) Coalition hosted an event at Asbury Methodist Church to discuss immigrant rights, racism and I.C.E. — the federal agency launched in 2003 to enforce immigration laws.

Boris Ozuna,

, said the event had the objective of strengthening the community’s rapid response network to confront the operations and presence of I.C.E. in the region.

In addition to law enforcement agencies, the group urged local businesses to not work with the federal agency.

"Everyone is here and has migrated here because we are looking for a better life and we are all contributing to the well being of our community," Ozuna said. "We need to start recognizing each other for that and start protecting each other for that."

We reached out to Immigration Customs Enforcement about the event but had not heard back when this story was published.

WHSV's Bob Corso

Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson about his agency's cooperation with I.C.E. and how

"You could pick any number of federal agencies and try to say which ones you are and which ones you're not going to work with," he said. "However, I think that will always fail you because we're partners in this together — federal, state and local. We share a common mission, which is public safety.

WHSV Live Poll Results Should local police work with federal immigration enforcement? — Yes: 66% — No: 32% — Not sure: 2%