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Fri Aug 23, 2019, 11:49 AM

Congress Told ICE to Detain Fewer People. Instead It Keeps Adding Private Prisons.


Congress Told ICE to Detain Fewer People. Instead It Keeps Adding Private Prisons.
For the seventh time this year, ICE has started using a new jail in Louisiana.
Noah Lanard

In a now familiar pattern, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has started sending immigrants to another for-profit jail in the Deep South. Mother Jones has learned that the latest addition to ICE’s rapidly expanding southern detention network is the LaSalle Correctional Center in Olla, Louisiana, a jail run by the private prison company LaSalle Corrections.

In February, Congress directed ICE to reduce its detention population, but ICE has ignored that request. After President Donald Trump forced a government shutdown in December, legislators averted another shutdown in February with a bipartisan bill that directed ICE to go from detaining nearly 49,000 people to 40,520 by October. Instead, ICE has pushed its detention population to all-time highs. The agency was detaining a record-high 55,220 people as of Saturday and has been rapidly contracting with new private prisons to house that increased number of detainees.

ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox confirmed that the agency started using the Olla jail this month. He said there are about 100 immigrants there so far. The facility can hold up to 755 people, according to LaSalle’s website.

The LaSalle Correctional Center is one of eight detention centers that ICE has started using in Louisiana and Mississippi since February, the month Congress directed the agency to detain fewer people. All of the new immigration jails are run by private prison companies. Six are run by LaSalle Corrections. The new jails have primarily been used to hold adults seeking asylum after being stopped at the southern border. As I wrote last month:

Concentrating asylum seekers in Southern states makes it particularly likely that they will lose their cases because of the region’s harsh judges and shortage of immigration lawyers. There are not enough judges in Louisiana to hear the new cases, and there are no immigration courts in Mississippi. As a result, many of these new asylum seekers will be forced to represent themselves in video hearings with out-of-state judges.

After I reported last month that ICE had quietly opened three new detention centers in the south, Democratic legislators and presidential candidates harshly criticized the move. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter to ICE demanding answers about the new detention facilities. Warren wrote that “it appears that ICE has decided to place immigrant detainees at these facilities without providing proper notice, despite the fact that they suffer from a myriad of health and safety problems.” Warren asked ICE to respond to a detailed list of questions by July 25, but the agency still hasn’t gotten back to her, according to Warren’s press office.

At the start of the Trump administration, ICE was detaining, on an average day, about 1,900 people in Louisiana and none in Mississippi. The agency started using one new detention facility in each state in 2018, but that pace has quickly accelerated with the eight new centers opening this year. The 10 facilities that ICE has begun using under Trump’s administration—eight in Louisiana and two in Mississippi—have a combined capacity of more than 10,000 people. NBC News reported that more than 6,500 people were being detained in Louisiana by ICE last month, second only to Texas.

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Reply Congress Told ICE to Detain Fewer People. Instead It Keeps Adding Private Prisons. (Original post)
babylonsister Aug 2019 OP
Wellstone ruled Aug 2019 #1

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2019, 12:29 PM

1. Like most people following

the Criminality of the Trump Administration,seriously you thing ICE would follow Congressional Mandates!

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