JEROME, Idaho (AP) — Jerome County 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 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.

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