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Exclusive: U.S. immigration authorities sending 1,600 detainees to federal prisons

Exclusive: U.S. immigration authorities sending 1,600 detainees to federal prisons

Postby smix » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:30 pm

Exclusive: U.S. immigration authorities sending 1,600 detainees to federal prisons
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1J32W1
Category: Politics
Published: June 7, 2018

Description: WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. authorities are transferring into federal prisons about 1,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees, officials told Reuters on Thursday, in the first large-scale use of federal prisons to hold detainees amid a Trump administration crackdown on people entering the country illegally. An ICE spokeswoman told Reuters five federal prisons will temporarily take in detainees awaiting civil immigration court hearings, including potential asylum seekers, with one prison in Victorville, California, preparing to house 1,000 people. Officials of a prison employees’ union said the influx of ICE detainees raises questions about prison staffing and safety. Union leaders at prisons in California, Texas and Washington state who spoke to Reuters said they had little time to prepare for the large intake of detainees. At Victorville, the prison getting the largest number of people, workers are moving about 500 inmates in a medium-security facility to make space, said John Kostelnik, local president for the American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prison Locals union. “There is so much movement going on,” said Kostelnik. “Everyone is running around like a chicken without their head.” ICE spokeswoman Dani Bennett said, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is working to meet the demand for additional immigration detention space, both long and short term” due to a surge in illegal border crossings and a U.S. Department of Justice zero-tolerance policy. “To meet this need, ICE is collaborating with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), private detention facility operators and local government agencies,” she said in a statement to Reuters.



U.S. Democrats blast use of federal prisons to house detained immigrants
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1J42KT
Category: Politics
Published: June 8, 2018

Description: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic lawmakers blasted the Trump administration on Friday over its decision to temporarily transfer hundreds of detained immigrants into five federal prisons, calling the practice inhumane and un-American. Reuters reported on Thursday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has entered into a 120-day agreement with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the U.S. Marshals Service to house 1,600 people waiting for immigration hearings. “The depth of this administration’s heartlessness has no bottom,” Jerrold Nadler, the top ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, told Reuters in a statement on Friday. “After seeing the heartbreak and suffering that family separation has caused, and after hearing criticism from all sides, this administration has decided to double down on cruelty by using federal prisons to house asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution and torture.” ICE has struggled to find enough beds to house detainees amid the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal border crossing and efforts to clamp down on how many asylum applications are approved. As part of that effort, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said earlier this year he planned to prosecute everyone who crossed the border illegally, and also to separate women and children. ICE did not say how many of the 1,600 people being moved into prisons may be seeking asylum. One immigration advocacy group told Reuters on Friday that as of Thursday, it had met with five female detainees being held in SeaTac, a federal jail in Seattle, and all of them had been separated from their children and were seeking asylum. “We do think that everyone who is currently being held (in Seattle) is seeking asylum,” said Jorge Baron, the executive director for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “We don’t know that for sure, but everyone we have talked to has been in that situation, and the five women we talked to each were separated from a child.” He added that two of the women interviewed had crossed the border with their children in southern Texas and surrendered to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. The women were separated from their children, charged with misdemeanor illegal entry and given credit for the time they served in an immigration detention facility. But after that, they were transported up to SeaTac, he added. Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have since sent a letter to U.S. immigration and Justice Department officials demanding answers about the women detainees. “We have serious concerns about the Trump administration’s treatment of these asylum seekers,” they wrote.
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