Beltrami County does not hold ICE detainees

Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel says the jail does not house detainees for ICE, or immigration and customs enforcement.

Commissioner Reed Olson

Recently, Beltrami Commissioner Reed Olson requested that the Sheriff discuss jail policy with the board, as it pertains to contracts with federal agencies.

Olson says the county’s relationships with federal agencies may further displace county residents.

According to a letter from the Sheriff to commissioners, Minnesota Statute gives the Sheriff’s Office independence of board oversight, except with budgets.

As of earlier this month, the Sheriff’s Office is no longer holding people on ICE detainers, according to Beitel.

Sheriff Ernie Beitel

 That Minnesota Appeals Court decision, after a Norman County appeal, states that immigration offenses are civil cases, not criminal. Olson says with his criticism he still supports the Sheriff’s Office and County Jail.

The commissioners are currently working on how they will address the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ concerns about the county jail, which have included safety and facility concerns.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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