Thursday, May 23, 2024

ICE will Close Two Problematic Detention Centers in Georgia & Massachusetts

The Biden administration has decided to close Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in Georgia and Massachusetts due to allegations of abusive treatment of immigrants.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas instructed ICE to terminate its contract with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and transfer migrant detainees out of the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigrant Detention Center in Massachusetts. The order comes four months after the Massachusetts Attorney General found that the sheriff’s office used excessive force against detainees, such as flash bang grenades, pepper-ball launchers, and canines, in a clash over COVID-19 testing at the facility last year.

Mayorkas also directed ICE to prepare to discontinue its use of the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia “as soon as possible.” Last year, news reported that a gynecologist who worked at the facility was accused by multiple women of performing unnecessary procedures on them, including hysterectomies.

In a memo to ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson, Mayorkas stated “Allow me to state one foundational principle: we will not tolerate the mistreatment of individuals in civil immigration detention or substandard conditions of detention.” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson released a statement saying, “Shame on Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas for putting his left-wing political agenda above public safety by ending the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This is nothing but a political hit job orchestrated by Sec. Mayorkas, the Biden administration and other anti-law enforcement groups to punish outspoken critics and advance their partisan agenda to score political points.”

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts stated that “the termination of ICE contracts with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office a long overdue and critical step in decoupling Massachusetts law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement. By shuttering detention facilities with a track record of problematic conditions and ending local collaboration with ICE, we can work together toward a fairer and more humane immigration system.”