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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    More migrants apprehended at the border are detained in NJ

    More migrants apprehended at the border are detained in NJ

    Monserrate Alvarado, North Jersey RecordPublished 5:27 a.m. ET June 3, 2019 | Updated 6:32 p.m. ET June 3, 2019

    The Essex County jail and the Elizabeth immigration facility in May held 168 migrants who had crossed the southern border, Emilio Dabul, a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Newark, said Friday.

    The migrants are in addition to the 235 people sent to ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in New York in May, who were then detained locally in New Jersey and New York pending immigration proceedings. Migrants sent to ERO in New York are held at jails in the counties of Hudson and Bergen in New Jersey, and Orange County in New York.

    U.S. Border Patrol agents working at Sunland Park, NM apprehended approximately 180 illegal border crossers on Tuesday, Feb. 26. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

    ERO in Newark sends immigrant detainees to the Essex County Correctional Facility and the Elizabeth facility, run by Core Civic, a private company.

    Dabul said 78 border crossers were held at the Elizabeth center and 90 were held at the Essex County jail in Newark during the month of May. It's not clear whether all 168 are still being detained.

    ICE would not say when the migrants who crossed the border were sent to ERO in Newark, or how many have been transferred there in recent months.

    “ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Newark has been receiving cases from the Southwest Border on a regular basis for many years,'' said a statement from ICE ERO in Newark on Monday. "ICE managing bed space nationwide and transfers from the border to interior field offices is not a new concept.”

    But the number of border crossers held in May in New Jersey surprised some immigration advocates who work with the population. Rosa Santana, program coordinator for First Friends of New Jersey and New York, an organization that sends volunteers to visit ICE detainees at local facilities, said she did not know there were so many border crossers being held at local sites.

    Essex County Correctional Facility (Photo: Monsy Alvarado/

    Most of those held at the local facilities, she said, are immigrants from the New Jersey and New York area who have been taken into custody by ICE locally. She said that in the past the organization has seen some border crossers at the New Jersey sites, recalling that last year a few Cubans who had crossed the border were sent to the Essex County jail.

    But she said having 78 in Elizabeth and 90 in Essex seemed high.

    "That is concerning,'' she said. "Especially because of the conditions that we know of that are in Essex. We are working with them, there have been improvements, but there are a lot of concerns."

    Santana was referring to a federal inspection report from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, released in February, that found egregious security and food safety violations and poor living conditions that put the Essex County jail in serious violation of its contract with the federal government to house the immigration detainees.

    At the time when the report was released, the Essex County Correctional Facility had already begun to address the issues, the report said. Al Ortiz, the correctional facility director, in a statement sent at the time, said officials had taken steps to rectify the conditions.

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    Jay Arena, a member of Jobs and Equal Rights for All, has been participating in protests and lobbying for Essex County to end its contract with ICE to house the detainees. He said Democratic officials in Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties are helping President Donald Trump, a Republican, by accepting at their jails not only immigration detainees apprehended locally but also those from the border.

    "They clearly have shown the real issue is that they want to generate blood money, and that this is what it's really about,'' Arena said. "They are actually key partners in Trump's stepped-up attack on immigrants. He needs jail space. It's crucial to his ramped-up attacks."

    Anthony Puglisi, a spokesman for Essex County, did not immediately answer a request for comment Friday.

    In March, the New Jersey Immigrant Trust Directive went into effect
    , limiting the assistance that state, county and local law enforcement can provide in federal immigration operations. But the directive does not apply to law enforcement agencies that currently have agreements to hold ICE detainees. Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties are the three county sheriffs' offices that house ICE detainees in New Jersey.

    The Essex County jail gets paid $117 per day, per detainee it houses for ICE. Bergen County receives $110 per day, per detainee, and Hudson County gets $120.

    Flying migrants to ease overcrowding

    The idea of transferring migrants to cities away from the border was talked about weeks ago. Trump at one point confirmed he might force officials to transport migrants who arrive at the border to so-called sanctuary cities, jurisdictions like New York City, that don't comply with federal immigration officials.

    Days later, though, the president denied reports that migrants would be flown to Florida and coastal states. Some advocates in New York and New Jersey said they would continue to prepare for mass arrivals just in case, citing the administration's history of contradictory statements on immigration policy.

    A continued influx of migrants crossing at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months has stretched border facilities beyond capacity, leaving border patrol agents struggling with how to house them.

    CoreCivic Inc., a private prison company operates the Elizabeth Contract Detention Facility in Elizabeth which house about 300 immigration detainees for the federal government. (Photo: Monsy Alvarado,

    On Thursday, for instance, border patrol agents announced they had apprehended more than 1,000 migrants who they said had illegally crossed the border near El Paso a day earlier.

    And on Friday the DHS Office of Inspector General made public a report in which it said it had found "dangerous overcrowding'' and unsanitary conditions after making an unannounced visit to border patrol stations in Texas. In one location, which has a maximum capacity of 125, inspectors found about 900 detainees one day. Border Patrol agents told inspectors some of the detainees had been held in standing-room-only conditions for days or weeks, the report said.

    "We are concerned that overcrowding and prolonged detention represent an immediate risk to the health and safety not just of the detainees, but also DHS agents and officers,'' the report said. "Border Patrol management on site said there is a high incidence of illness among their staff."

    The surge in migrant crossings led Trump to announce that a new 5 percent tariff will be imposed on Mexico to place pressure on the country to stop the large flow of migrants, mostly from Central America, who are arriving in the United States.

    Santana said she plans to reach out to her jail contacts to relay information to the migrants, including how to obtain pro-bono attorneys, and to help some migrants connect to family members back home or in the United States.

    "We will see in what way we can help them,'' she said.

    "Any way we can help them we will, and we will connect them to other organizations as well."


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    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    "Help" them on a bus back home!

    They cannot stay here!


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