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Pinal board delays ending jail contract with ICE

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Pinal County is postponing a decision on whether to
end a money-losing federal contract for housing immigration detainees in the
county jail, instead voting to try once more to renegotiate a new deal.

The Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to seek help from members of the
state’s congressional delegation on changing the current contract that an audit
said costs the county about $2.5 million a year.

According to the Casa Grande Dispatch, Sheriff Paul
Babeu argued against ending the contract, saying that would force elimination of
200 jobs, mostly jail detention officers.

Supervisor Pete Rios said the county has struggled for years to work out a new
contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement but those efforts have
proved fruitless.

The supervisors will reconsider the issue May 29.

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