Below is a press release we received from the PCSO which originated from U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick. It details the progress made in Washington D.C. this week in the renegotiating of the ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) contract Pinal County has with the Federal Government. This was one of the topics Sheriff Babeu argued about in his presentation for a budget increase of 12.9 million dollars last April that I wrote about. Here is the link to that article.
Representative Ann Kirkpatrick
Representative Paul Gosar
I am forwarding a press release just sent out from U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick’s Office. It details the meeting that Sheriff Babeu and Chief Deputy Henry attended today in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Kirkpatrick and Rep. Gosar were instrumental in bringing Pinal County officials and top level ICE Officials to the table to discuss the Pinal County ICE contract.
CONTACT: Jennifer Johnson, Communications Director
May 16, 2013 – For immediate release
Kirkpatrick, Gosar step in to help Pinal County, ICE
resolve problems with jail contract
WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., facilitated a successful meeting today between senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Miller. The county officials seek to renegotiate the terms of a Pinal County Jail contract that goes back to 2006.
Kirkpatrick and Gosar arranged today’s meeting after sending a May 8 joint letter to ICE, in which they wrote, “Federal unfunded costs should not be imposed on the taxpayers of Pinal County, Arizona … If the costs of housing an inmate are in fact higher than the federal reimbursement rate, there is a serious issue that must be addressed.”
Today’s meeting was highly productive, and ICE officials are moving forward in considering Pinal County’s request to renegotiate the contract terms and reimbursement rate.
Sheriff Babeu said, “Just last week, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors was set to vote and give ICE a 100-day notice on their intent to cancel the contract between Pinal County and ICE to house their detainees in our facility. The County Manager told the Board of Supervisors he was unsuccessful due to the sequester to negotiate with ICE any changes to the contract. While this was occurring, I reached out to Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick and Congressman Paul Gosar and asked them both for immediate assistance. In a matter of days, they were able to facilitate a meeting with top-level ICE officials, who immediately agreed to begin the negotiation process. Thanks to Congresswoman Kirkpatrick and Congressman Gosar’s immediate attention, ICE has agreed to help resolve this issue, which will save 130 to 200 of my employees’ jobs. Myself and my staff are extremely appreciative of their intervention.”
Rep. Kirkpatrick said, “It’s important that Arizona officials work together, from the local to the federal level. Today was a positive start, and we hope to see results on behalf of the taxpayers and the jobs at stake in Pinal County.”
Rep. Gosar said, “A key part of border security is arrest, detention and punishment. The nation can’t afford to have this facility closed and hundreds of criminals released. I am pleased to work together to get this matter addressed.”
About Ann Kirkpatrick
Arizona born and raised, Ann Kirkpatrick resides in Flagstaff, and her earliest roots are found in Eastern Arizona in McNary on the White Mountain Apache Nation. Her father ran a general store and her mother was a schoolteacher. Ann graduated from Blue Ridge High School in the White Mountains and then worked her way through the University of Arizona, earning a bachelor’s degree and then a law degree there. After earning her law degree, Ann served the people of Greater Arizona in a variety of positions. In 1980, she became Coconino County’s first female Deputy County Attorney, cracking down on criminals and protecting neighborhoods and families in Northern Arizona. She later served as Sedona’s City Attorney. In November 2004, Ann’s neighbors elected her to the Arizona House of Representatives to represent Legislative District 2, which includes Flagstaff and the Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, and San Juan Southern Paiute Nations. At the state Capitol, Ann championed fiscal responsibility and quality education. During her 2008-10 term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ann’s results stood out in Congress, seeing more of her bills and amendments signed into law than almost any other freshman representative. Ann’s hard work created jobs, helped small businesses, hired more border patrol agents, and protected veterans and seniors in Greater Arizona. In November 2012, the voters of Congressional District 1 elected Kirkpatrick to once again represent them in Congress. She serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.