At around 9am on a freezing Thanksgiving morning, over a dozen people representing the FANG Collective, community members and allies demonstrated outside the New Bedford home of Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson over the county’s 287(g) agreement with United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The 287(g) agreement, signed in February of last year, deputizes Bristol County Sheriff Office (BCSO) personnel the authority to exercise immigration-related functions usually reserved for ICE officers. Barnstable County and Plymouth County, along with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections have 287(g) agreements with ICE.
Shortly after the protesters arrived and began their chanting, Hodgson stepped outside his home to photograph them with his phone. Hodgson then apparently called the New Bedford Police Department. The police officers quickly ascertained that the protest was peaceful and well within the First Amendment rights of the protesters.
The protest lasted about half an hour.
The FANG Collective wrote on Facebook:
Today – the Day of Mourning, organizers with The FANG Collective and community members demonstrated outside the home of Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson over the county’s “287(g)” agreement with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In February 2017 the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), led by Sheriff Hodgson, signed a 287(g) agreement with ICE, which deputizes BCSO personnel the authority to exercise immigration-related functions usually reserved for ICE officers. Barnstable and Plymouth Counties, along with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections have 287(g) agreements with ICE.
This past summer, in response to deplorable conditions at the Bristol County House of Corrections, including inedible food, nearly nonexistent medical care, and abuse from facility employees, ICE detainees launched a hunger strike. The protest was soon joined by the general population at the prison.
3 months ago, in solidarity – FANG blockaded the entrances of the Bristol County House of Corrections with two people climbing 24 foot tri-pods while two others locked into a concrete barricade. Bristol County Sherriffs forcibly pulled apart the tri-pods, injuring both climbers, and cut apart the concrete barricade.
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