Utah Sheriffs 2nd Amendment



The Utah Sheriffs’ Association has been made aware of a memo that was written by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (I.C.E.) Salt Lake City Field Office Director Michael Bernacke titled “Sanctuary State Designation for the State of Utah”. In this memo Bernacke takes it upon himself to declare Utah a sanctuary state and makes absurd claims that Utah sheriffs are responsible for destabilizing ICE’s law enforcement capabilities in Utah and surrounding states.

Utah Sheriffs see this memo as nothing more than another attempt by ICE to abdicate their responsibility to enforce immigration law and an attempt to shift blame for their failed policies.

We have also seen a press release written by Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs that tries to shift the blame on state leaders. We see this press release as nothing more than an uninformed attempt to score cheap political points.

In response, the Utah Sheriffs’ Association issued the following statement:

“It is our understanding that this I.C.E. memo has been distributed to Utah legislators, Utah’s federal delegation, and the Utah governor’s office. It has also been sent to at least one current political candidate, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs who issued his own press release. While the one group who can supply honest dialog to these claims, Utah’s sheriffs, has not been approached by Bernacke or Staggs, we applaud Utah lawmakers and the governor’s office for their leadership and integrity in reaching out to us to understand the truth.  

The Utah Sheriffs’ Association declares this memo to be misleading, reckless, and damaging to any further interactions with I.C.E. Additionally, we express our extreme disappointment in Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs for his naïve and uninformed press release in support of I.C.E.’s liberal agenda that blames state leaders for I.C.E.’s failures. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Utah’s sheriffs, sheriffs from across the country, and the citizens of this Nation have paid the price for the failure of the Biden Administration to secure our border. We have watched them dismantle our border security. We have watched them thwart efforts of border sheriffs and border states trying to stop the massive flow of undocumented criminals and immigrants into our country. We have watched as organized crime has gained a stronger hold on our border than our own government. To claim the current border crisis and its effect upon Utah is the fault of Utah’s sheriffs is a ridiculous attempt to shift blame. We call on I.C.E. and the Biden Administration to do their job and secure our borders, and we call on candidates running for office to understand the facts before attempting to score cheap political points.”



Throughout the years the Utah sheriffs who have held contracts with I.C.E. have been subjected to an unending list of federal “strings” that are attached. These include more than 700 pages of regulations that are not based upon constitutional rights or legal standards based on case law. Many of these absurd standards give special treatment and privileges to I.C.E. detainees that are far above and beyond what our own incarcerated citizens receive. The sheriffs who have tried to work with I.C.E. have been subjected to audits from liberal Washington DC based special interest groups. They have been threatened with lawsuits bringing undue liability upon the sheriffs and ultimately the tax paying citizens of Utah’s counties. I.C.E. policy and practice have made it simply impossible for Utah’s sheriffs to house I.C.E. detainees.