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Local advocates protest detainees held at Tulsa jail

Local advocates protest detainees held at Tulsa jail (KTUL)

Local advocates for undocumented detainees are ready to protest, with many others across the nation.

Each week, the New Sanctuary Network Tulsa holds a protest at noon at the Tulsa jail. They are concerned about the problems they see locally with undocumented immigrants arrested and separated from their children.

Now, the David L. Moss county jail has 280 detainees with ICE, 100 of them arrived May 23, after a change in the contract to temporarily allow more detainees at the Tulsa facility.

“They needed space. We actually had space available, so we allowed them to bring that in. It hasn’t altered our contract here, just increased the number of heads we have here at our facility,” said Justin Greene, with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. Green said current contract allows for 200 beds, specified for ICE.

“We want to speak out against it, and we are offended that our local county jail is running this operation,” said Linda Allegro of the New Sanctuary Network Tulsa.

She and others say there are Tulsa families that are impacted by immigration laws, and some children are in foster care, separated from their parents. But some advocates are concerned with those who have been transported in, those coming from possibly Oklahoma City or Texas, possibly even the border.

“It’s disturbing. It’s really disturbing, and we would like to understand what those people’s situation is,” said Mimi Martin with the University of Tulsa Law School and the Tulsa Immigration Resource Network. She represents some detainees. But she says there are too many detainees in Tulsa to represent them all.

The temporary contract with ICE goes on for a total of 90-days until August.

The group, New Sanctuary Network Tulsa, will meet at the jail in protest this coming Friday at noon.

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