© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Resolution To Support ICE Melts In Lake County

Immigration arrest at a garden center in Ohio.
John Minchillo
Associated Press
A resolution supporting ICE in Lake County was postponed indefinitely following pushback by residents on both sides of the issue.

The Lake County Commissioners voted Thursday to shelve a controversial resolution expressing support for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency known as ICE. The proposal attracted a packed house of residents who split on the issue.

The Northeast Ohio county with a large Hispanic population and a nursery industry that employs them, ICE is a hot topic.

Republican Commissioner Jerry Cirino proposed the resolution of support, and he faced name-calling from some residents.

“And just so I have it straight, for the record, “ he asked a woman who had spoken out against the proposal. “You are referring to me as a racist and a Nazi?

“Yes,” she responded.

‘Very Divisive Issues as Political Wedges’
Republicans nationwide have seized on the fact that some ICE protesters have called for abolishing the agency. Some are campaigning on the issue by claiming Democrats want open borders.

The only Democrat on the Lake County Commission, Daniel Troy, said two weeks ago that the resolution was being used to force him to vote for or against the agency. He is up for re-election in November.

Troy said he had always worked well with Republicans but things have changed “in the past year and a half.”

Troy proposed his own resolution that expressed support for ICE while also calling for immigration reform.

“I get a little tired of using these very divisive issues as political wedges to pit one group of people against another group of people,” Troy said.

Republican John Hamercheck agreed that the issue had become divisive. He said the community should not walk away from the issue over ICE and immigration should but work toward compromise in a civil way.

“When people stop talking about the things that keep us at a perpetual distance, “we can actually start getting something done” Hamercheck said. Cirino argued his resolution is merely about supporting ICE and existing laws. “It doesn’t mean that ICE does everything perfectly. No agency in the government, including the post office, does things perfectly," he said.

Commissioners Hamercheck and Troy voted to postpone both resolutions indefinitely, effectively killing the proposals. Afterwards a man in the audience complained that they were not supporting law enforcement.