Greene County no longer sanctuary county

The Greene County sheriff’s office is now complying with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in reporting undocumented immigrants located in criminal and non-criminal encounters, including traffic stops.

Under retired sheriff Steve Haupert, Greene County was listed as a sanctuary county. Deputies did not notify ICE about undocumented residents and Haupert said he would not hold a suspected undocumented immigrant arrested on a minor charge while ICE determined his or her immigration status.

President Donald Trump during his campaign included cancelling all federal funding to sanctuary cities/counties as part of his immigration reform plan. At stake for Greene County was about $400,000 in federal funds to the secondary roads department. Of that, $200,000 is bridge funds.

First term sheriff Jack Williams at the county supervisors’ meeting March 6 told county engineer Wade Weiss of the change in policy. Weiss was relieved to hear it.

According to Williams, the sheriff’s office policy manual had not been changed to reflect the sanctuary status. Williams told GreeneCountyNewsOnline he made a decision to report undocumented immigrants because he has arrested “illegal aliens” for severe crimes in the past and they were later deported. He said the sheriff’s office has always held suspects for ICE but only if there is space in the jail.

“Anymore, we do not run across many undocumented persons in our county,” Williams said. “If we do and they cannot provide documentation on who they are, we will give ICE a call. Normally, if the subject has not had a serious crime in their history they (ICE) tell us to let them go.”


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