FREDERICK, Md. - Frederick County, Md., residents gathered outside of Winchester Hall on Wednesday as a meeting was held regarding an ICE program that is run through the county's detention center.
Tensions were high on Wednesday night for the annual Immigration 287(g) committee meeting.
“The purpose of the meeting is to explain to the public what the program is and what it is not,” said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins.
But before the meeting even started, residents spoke both in favor and against the program that has been in place for the last ten years.
"We can be the mouth that says no to these policies,” said Lacey from the local group, Safe Haven. “We can be the hands that rise up our immigrants and most importantly, we can be the hands that do not ask for things. We just need to do this. This is our responsibility."
Residents gathered among what side they favored on both sides of the county’s building.
"I believe that we have a real serious problem in this country and it is the fact that we do not enough our laws,” said one Frederick County resident woman, who supported the program.
The tension moved into the meeting, as officials discussed the program.
According to officials, from April 2008 to May 2017, 1,576 people have been detained from both local and state law enforcement. 33 percent are people from El Salvador and 24 percent are from Mexico.
A PowerPoint was showed to share the numbers.
A new aspect to the meeting this year was an audit report regarding the cost of people detained per day.
Sheriff Jenkins said that a lot of misinformation has been shared regarding the program.
Officials say the current rate is 83 dollars per day per detainee. According to the report shared, that number is around 53 dollars for the county.
"The per detainee rate is reasonable under this test,” said Tricia Griffis, Internal Audit for Frederick County.
And while many mixed-emotions were shared among the room, Sheriff Jenkins said it is all about enforcing the law.
There are two other counties in the state of Maryland that participate in the ICE program, Anne Arundel and Harford County.
Officials said that the PowerPoint and the audit report will be shared on the county's website in the upcoming weeks.