McHenry County Loses ICE Case – Loss to Be Appealed

McHenry County’s effort to overcome the Democrats’ state law forcing the closure of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers run by county governments was upheld by the Federal District Court.

Shift change time at the ICE floor of the McHenry County Jail.

Pending the possibility of an appeal,. that means ICE detainees will be relocated from the McHenry County Jail by New Year’s Day.

Reaction from the County Board is below:

Statement Regarding Dismissal of Federal Lawsuit to Keep ICE Detainee Contract

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – The following is a statement from McHenry County Board Chairman Mike Buehler, R-Crystal Lake, regarding Monday’s dismissal of the county’s lawsuit to stop implementation of the Illinois Way Forward Act:

“The court’s ruling is a blow to local governmental control, as well as the supremacy of the US Constitution, against a clear case of overreach by the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker.

Supporters of closing the ICE floor demonstrating at a McHenry County Board meeting.

“Far from helping the immigrant community, the forced Jan. 1 ending of our contract with the federal government to house US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees will cause significant hardship on detainees’ families, as well as the taxpayers of McHenry County.”

McHenry County and Kankakee County filed suit Sept. 1 in US District Court to challenge the Act, and to seek an injunction to delay its end-of-year deadline while the case was heard.

“McHenry County first entered into the federal contract in 2005 to hold detainees on a per-diem basis at the County Jail.

May, 2021, anti-ICE demonstration in Algonquin.

“The counties’ lawsuit maintained that the Act violates the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution – which prohibits states from interfering with the federal government’s exercise of its constitutional powers – as well as case precedents forbidding state and federal government from intruding on each other’s sovereignty.

“McHenry County has housed a daily average of 240 ICE detainees between 2016 and 2020, resulting in an average annual revenue of $8 million, which has helped fund services and prevented tax increases.

ICE rally sign on July 25, 2020.

“However, the forced termination of the contract does not mean that ICE will be releasing its detainees from the County Jail – they will be relocated to facilities in other states.

“Families of detainees will now have to travel much farther to visit while their loved ones await their hearings, and the loss of revenue from the contract will hurt residents countywide in the form of diminished services or potential tax increases in future years.

July, 2020, anti-ICE demonstrator’s sign.

“McHenry County will appeal the court’s ruling to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals. In the meantime, it will inform ICE that it cannot accept new immigration detainees after Dec. 31.

“The General Assembly, in the final day of session, rammed through a flawed, unconstitutional and overreaching bill for the sole purpose of making a political statement that it disagrees with existing federal immigration policy.

“Far from a harmless and symbolic measure, this legislation will put real hurt on our taxpayers, as well as on the
families of detainees, who will soon have to travel to other states to visit them at facilities that may not have the County Jail’s exceptional and nationally recognized safety and living standards.

“I’m hopeful that our appeal will be successful,” Buehler said.

“The McHenry County Jail is one of only four county jails in Illinois to have American Correctional Association accreditation, which is awarded for having the highest and most stringent standards for “protection, safety, and humanity.”

“Contrary to the General Assembly’s rushed bill, the County Board spent a year studying and thoughtfully deliberating whether the ICE contract should be continued, before voting in May to keep it.”

Reaction from McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally is below:


We intend to appeal the decision of the District Court.

We will initially seek a stay of enforcement of the Illinois Way Forward Act before the District Court and, thereafter, seek a hearing on the issues in front of the Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals.

While we are disappointed with the outcome and obviously disagree, we wish to thank Judge Reinhardt for his thoughtful decision.

We also think it is useful to briefly recount how we got here.

The McHenry County Board voted overwhelmingly on March 18, 2021, to maintain the federal contract that allows our local jail to house immigrants facing deportation proceedings.

In other words, the elected representatives in the community affected by the contract voted that it is in the best interest of constituents for the contract to be maintained.

This is one of two contracts in the entire State, the other having been ratified in Kankakee County.

Less than two months later and in response to the McHenry County Board vote, the Illinois Way
Forward Act was passed.

The bill was spearheaded by unelected immigrant activist groups and nearly every sponsor of the Bill was from Cook County.

The Illinois Way Forward Act is another example of how the current legislative assembly is likely one of the most partisan and dogmatically rigid in Illinois history – a legislative assembly that has precious little time for the perspectives of the residents in outlying counties like McHenry and Kankakee.

As such and when legally tenable, we at the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office will continue to push back against the obscurity and futility that the Chicago bulwark in Springfield wishes to consign us to.

Moreover, it is worth reiterating that the Illinois Way Forward does not help ICE detainees.

Graphic from the internet petition campaign to close the ICE floor in the McHenry County Jail from the Action Network.

Most detainees held by ICE at the McHenry County Jail previously resided in Illinois, Wisconsin, or Northwest Indiana. The termination of these contracts will not result in the release of detainees.

Rather, they will merely be transferred to other ICE facilities as far away as Louisiana, with more crowding, and with less favorable safety standards than the McHenry County Jail.


McHenry County Loses ICE Case – Loss to Be Appealed — 18 Comments

  1. If it holds, and I hope it does not–then thats 8 million in revenue down the drain, and should result in a significant layoff at the Jail. And good going all you “F ICE” people–now you and yours get to drive all over the nation to visit your; Hermano, Hijo, Padre, Abuelo, Tio, whoever. Its a Lose Lose if it stands. For the County and for the Las Personas (idiots) who wanted this to happen. Shame on our General Assembly too. They might not have gotten the recent memo, folks/voters are down on crime, want more Funding of the Police, and arent into Illegals anymore.


  3. You people who look to crooked courts to protect your rights make me laugh.

    CWII will correct these inequities.

  4. I think your first sentence is bad, Cal.
    “McHenry County’s effort to overcome the Democrats’ state law forcing the closure of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers run by county governments was upheld by the Federal District Court.”

    This makes it sound like the county’s effort against the state was upheld by the district court, but the article says the court sided with the state against McHenry County.

    How come Pat’s statements always read like political commentary?

    “The bill was spearheaded by unelected immigrant activist groups and nearly every sponsor of the Bill was from Cook County.” The 7th Appeals Court is going to laugh you out of the room if you talk like that. They don’t care who sponsored the law. The law passed. They don’t care who brainstormed the law either.

    Likewise, your job isn’t to argue whether it “helps” illegal immigrants whether they are in Illinois or Louisiana. The case isn’t about what’s “best” for illegal aliens, Pat, it’s about whether or not you can legally operate an ICE facility in McHenry County despite the state saying no.

    You have to make a legal/constitutional case that the county can’t be shut down by the state for doing a federal job. I’m not a lawyer, but I assume there are competent lawyers who can make the case for or against it by citing other cases and laws. That is NOT what Pat does in this press release, and he has a history of statements like this which indicate he is incompetent as a lawyer.

    tbh I don’t feel confident that McHenry County will win if Pat Kenneally is going to be the guy arguing. He just seems too stupid and we know his office has a high turnover rate (likely because nobody wants to be around him). Good luck though.

  5. Hey Correcting we agree on our wonderful DA. With regard to ICE I think it’s a bad idea to let these illegals sit in our county, produce anchor babies (14th amendment) and then get the media behind them to pontificate to the brainwashed masses in IL how evil non-progressives are. These people need to go back home and get in line or get a work visa with an expiration date. I respect both options since when they do get to vote they see through the plantation politics being pushed by the Make America Last morons on both sides.

    Re Kenneally. He pisses on the 4th amendment for breakfast. He’s another bad decision I made just like I did with Tirio. I don’t make those twice. In Tirio’s I did until the cheat was put on full display in 2020. They hid it good in 2018.

  6. Maybe you people will awaken in time to see behind the curtains to understand Kenneally and his staff are piss poor, and made weak arguments.

    They never really tried to win. Just went through the motions. Grab a headline or two.

    And high five in their offices.

    Sad. Pathetic. Maddening.

  7. JT, I’ve lost faith in Tirio too.

    He had a golden opportunity for greatness but wimped out.

    My very elderly mom said she couldn’t vote for a man with a beard like his. He was ‘no good’

  8. The elephant in the room isn’t black crime…’s jewish influence.

    As long as organized jewry has its’ hands on the control points nothing is going to change in this country….. at least in a positive way.

    The GOP defers to jewish interests as much as the Dems do……so the GOP are fat, BLM worshipping lice.

    Organized jewry runs the racial spoils system that pits the motley crew of blacks, hispanics, asians, gays, trannies, parasites, libtards and stupid liberal white women against white men. Their goal is to steal resources from the white men whose forefathers built this country.

    The negroes are the jews’s golem used to intimidate whites. The lying Jmedia can whip the negroes into a frenzy anytime they want…..and the GOP sits with their thumbs up their asses.

    Yes, all of us know what the GOP should do……but the GOP isn’t going to DO anything. They never do. They are craven cowards.

    The GOP are the kind of men who would have been the first to jump into the lifeboats as the Titanic was sinking, shoving little kids and grandmothers out of the way.

  9. Finish the wall.

    When TRUMP gets back, which he will soon.

    There will be no more illegal entry.

  10. It’s comical that everyone is an “Asylum Seeker” now.

    These people sure do know how to pervert language to put a positive spin on everything that is wicked.

  11. So, Val sweetie – are you suggesting a final solution?

    It’s sad when people externalize their mental illnesses.


  12. Mellow Punk, your days are coming to a close.

    People are waking up to human vermin like you.

    And it’s not going to be patty cakes or cakes and ale.

  13. Why is the racist attack in Wisconsin being covered up by the media?

    Why are whites being targeted on Chicago expressways?

    Why are all the carjackers black?

  14. In the arguments among you anonymites about whether the anti-Black racists or the anti-Jew bigots are more right, the sheriff’s legitimate point was lost.

    He says moving detainees to another facility doesn’t make their situation better.

    In fact, it likely moved them to overcrowded detention farther from their families.

  15. That’s pretty incoherent, Mr Hecht.

    By “these”, do you mean this story, everything Cal posts, or the thing told you by the voices you in your head?

    If the first, yes, I do think the reported story about the court dismissing a lawsuit is true.

    If the second, ask Cal.

    If the third, you’re on your own.

    And yes, you are obsessed with Jussie, who has nothing to do with this story or my comment, but perhaps something to do with your self-doubt.

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