U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is closing a detention facility in Etowah County, Alabama, and limiting the use of three other facilities in other states. According to a statement released on Friday, this is part of a review being conducted by DHS Secretary Mayorkas. DHS is reviewing detention facilities “to assess whether their conditions are humane, meet applicable standards, and represent a responsible use of appropriated funding.”
The Alabama detention facility has “a long history of serious deficiencies identified during facility inspections and is of limited operational significance to the agency.” ICE is also ending detentions at Glades County Detention Center in Moore Haven, Florida. There are concerns about medical care at the facility. ICE will stop paying for a “guaranteed minimum” of 300 beds this month. If the county addresses the issues, ICE is open to using the detention center in the future. ICE will also limit the number of detentions at two other facilities – Alamance County Detention Facility in Graham, N.C., and Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, La. Apparently, Mayorkas is doing all this in a quest to make detaining illegal aliens a kinder and gentler experience.
The statement issued by ICE explains the move for what it calls conditions that are more humane. In May 2021, Mayorkas sent out a memo on illegal immigrant detention. Since then, DHS has “taken significant additional steps to review the detention system, including observations, analysis, and expertise provided by personnel at ICE, the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, the Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman, and others.”
ICE detains noncitizens during removal proceedings and pending removal, as required by law or when necessary to ensure public safety or address risk of flight. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has committed to review detention facilities to assess whether their conditions are humane, meet applicable standards, and represent a responsible use of appropriated funding. The following actions reinforce that commitment:
ICE will discontinue use of the Etowah County Detention Center as soon as possible, consistent with the 30-day termination notice requirement and any legal obligations. The Etowah County Detention Center has a long history of serious deficiencies identified during facility inspections and is of limited operational significance to the agency.
In recent years, ICE has reduced its use of the Glades County Detention Center, in part due to persistent and ongoing concerns related to the provision of detainee medical care, and because the facility is of limited operational significance. Nevertheless, ICE has continued to pay for a minimum number of beds, many of which the agency has not and likely will not utilize. The agency will not extend the guaranteed minimum beds provision of the agreement. Any future use of the facility will be dependent on fully addressing any conditions that do not meet detention standards.
The Alamance County Detention Facility, which is currently used for long-term detention, will only be used for short periods of custody (under 72 hours) if it meets applicable standards. This change is due to limited operational use and concerns about conditions, including a lack of outdoor recreation.
Acting Director Tae D. Johnson says that ICE personnel are being relocated as needed and detainees are being transferred to other facilities. ICE’s reviews of detention facilities will continue.
What ICE doesn’t say in its statement is that the need for these facilities has been reduced to the point that they can be closed or paused in taking in detainees because of Biden’s policies. Last December Biden announced that illegal migrant families would no longer be held in detention facilities. DHS is using tracking technology like ankle bracelets instead of holding detainees. There are no families being held in detention centers. Biden made a campaign promise to end holding families and that is what he did. A quick turnaround process is used and families are released within 72 hours.
The reality is that Border Patrol has released tens of thousands of families without so much as ankle bracelets or any tracking devices. They are released and remain in the United States, blending into communities and going about their lives. It’s no wonder Biden’s border crisis continues. Yet, at a time when illegal migration numbers are up and there are concerns about a “mass migration event” when Biden ends Title 42, Biden is closing facilities. He should be instructing DHS to increase the availability of detention centers, not limiting options. The Spring months are the busy season, if you will, for illegal migration. The Biden administration continues to show they are not serious at all about abiding by current immigration laws. The Biden border crisis is completely self-inflicted.
ICE arrests and deportations are down due to DHS priorities. ICE has been instructed to concentrate on only the most violent of illegal immigrants and on the most recent migrants. The number of immigration arrests and deportations in the interior of the United States fell to their lowest levels in decades last fiscal year. Biden claims this is a humanitarian victory but the truth is it is a public safety threat and a violation of law. Biden prioritizes illegal aliens over American citizens. His open border policies certainly have not eased the crisis on the southern border. It will only get worse as an imminent mass migration event is expected when Biden ends the use of Title 42 at the border. The pandemic may be waning but the flood of illegal migrants to the US-Mexico border is not.
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