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With limited space in Utah, ICE may be eyeing Idaho for jail beds

JEROME, Idaho — With space tight in Utah, an Idaho county's officials are awaiting a contract from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to lease beds at the county jail.

The Times-News reports the agency last January described Jerome County as an "ideal location" to lease 50 beds to make up for a lack of space in Utah. By establishing a presence in Jerome, the agency says it would save money by cutting the transportation costs of sending detainees to Seattle or Salt Lake City.

The agency said in mid-September it was moving forward with the contract in Jerome, but Sheriff Doug McFall says he's still waiting.

The proposal has garnered criticism from local and statewide organizations saying a crackdown on immigrants living in the area illegally would create a culture of fear among Jerome's Hispanic community and disrupt local economy.