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New Barnstable County Sheriff to end ICE agreement on first day in office

Jennette Barnes / CAI
Sheriff-elect Donna Buckley (center) with supporters at the Cape Codder in Hyannis on election night, November, 2022.

The incoming Barnstable County sheriff says she plans to terminate a controversial agreement with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, also known as ICE.

Barnstable County sheriff elect Donna Buckley issued a statement Monday night that she plans to end the agreement on her first day in office, tomorrow.

The agreement, legally known as a "287(g) agreement," deputizes local public safety officials to enforce federal immigration law. It has long come under fire from immigration rights advocates.

Buckley says that the Barnstable sheriff's department is currently the only law enforcement agency in New England to have an agreement with ICE.

She says that agreement has only hurt residents on the Cape.

"This program has not proven to keep us safer and causes many living on Cape Cod to live in fear. That fear ends today," Buckley is quoted in a press release. “The mission of the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office is corrections, rehabilitation, and treatment. Starting today, our focus will be on that core mission and the distraction of the 287(g) agreement will be where it belongs — behind us.”

The Falmouth resident will be sworn-in as the county's 35th sheriff during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Cape Cod Community College.

Sam Houghton has been with the station since the summer of 2017. Before that, he worked at the Falmouth Enterprise, where he covered local politics.