Action: Email our Sheriff and County Commissioners and ask them to discourage any collaboration between Durham County law enforcement and ICE

The Durham Sheriff's Department partners with ICE in at least some capacity, although the extent of this partnership is unclear. The department has confirmed they participate in Secure Communities (now known as the Priority Enforcement Program), which lets ICE use fingerprinting and other data submitted to the FBI to deport undocumented people. Trump's Executive Order on immigration also encourages police departments to revive other ICE-police partnerships, such as the 287(g) program that the Durham PD participated in as recently as 2009.  

Sheriff Andrews:  sheriff@durhamsheriff.org

Wendy Jacobs: (919) 418-3169 wjacobs@dconc.gov
James Hill: (919) 536-8820 jahill@dconc.gov
Brenda Howerton: (919) 544-4160 bhowerton@dconc.gov
Heidi Carter: (919) 225-4268 hcarter@dconc.gov
Ellen Reckhow: (919) 383-3883 ereckhow@dconc.gov

Here's a sample email you could use:

Sheriff Andrews, 

I write to encourage you to terminate any cooperative arrangements, such as the Secure Communities program, between the Durham Sheriff's Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Adding the burden of immigration enforcement to your department means you have less time to spend on your core mission of community policing. Furthermore, collaboration between ICE and your department jeopardizes the Durham community by forcing immigrants to live in terror of arrest and deportation. If the Durham Sheriff's Department continues to collaborate with ICE around immigration enforcement, it will undermine community-police relations, discourage immigrants from calling the police in response to crimes, and prevent immigrants from living and working freely in our community. People whose only crime was to arrive in this country without the right paperwork should not be at risk of being uprooted from their businesses, families, and communities. All immigrants, documented and otherwise, should be able to trust that their local police exist to serve and protect the Durham community, not enforce ICE's radical new deportation agenda. 

Ending police-ICE collaboration is a crucial first step to protect Durham's immigrants and rebuild relations between citizens and police. It is also not an unprecedented move--just recently, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez terminated his department's 287(g) program with ICE, noting that the resources involved in supporting the program could be better used elsewhere (see http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Sheriff-cuts-ties-with-ICE-program-over-immigrant-10949617.php). I urge you to terminate your Secure Communities initiative and any other collaborations between the Durham Sheriff's Department and ICE, for the sake of all Durham residents.

Thank you for your time and consideration."

Action: Call County Commission to ask them to defend visitation rights at the jail

From Inside Outside Alliance

The Durham County Sheriff's Department is planning to end in-person visitation at the Durham County Jail this summer and replace it with phone calls. Advocates who are working tirelessly on behalf of the rights of people in Durham's jail point out that such a decision could provide financial benefits to GlobalTel based on Durham County's contract with the telecommunications corporation. The Durham County Commissioners can put pressure on the Sheriff to keep visitation as is. Call and email them to ask that jail visitation is on the agenda of their March 13th meeting.

Wendy Jacobs: (919) 418-3169 wjacobs@dconc.gov
James Hill: (919) 536-8820 jahill@dconc.gov
Brenda Howerton: (919) 544-4160 bhowerton@dconc.gov
Heidi Carter: (919) 225-4268 hcarter@dconc.gov
Ellen Reckhow: (919) 383-3883 ereckhow@dconc.gov

***SAMPLE SCRIPT***
My name is _________________. I'm calling/emailing to ask that the County Commissioners place the Durham Jail's decision to end jail visitation on the agenda for their 7pm regular session on March 13th. Many people in the community have expressed how the Sheriff's Department's elimination of visitation will hurt folks on the inside and their families. The community should have a say in a decision that would negatively impact so many Durham residents. We ask that you include jail visitation on the agenda for the March 13th session and allow for public comment. Thank you.