Hudson County has announced that it will terminate its contract for holding immigration prisoners by the year 2020. The detainees have been held in the Hudson County Corrections and Rehabilitation Center. Tom DeGise, the county executive, says this will begin a path to exit.
The county renewed a contract in July with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house their detainees. This contract is supposed to help the county collect over $30 million bucks every single year.
Protests Against ICE Detentions Continue
The announcement was made when the opposition of this contact continued to gather at the Liberty State Park, Jersey City for a protest. Similar protests had been made in the previous weeks denouncing the renewal of the ICE contract.
Rev Seth Kaper-Dale, the Reverend of Reformed Church of Highland Park, said that the demonstrations are set to continue as scheduled. According to him, the contract should be ended within the shortest time possible.
The Reverend said that having to wait two years does not make any sense.
Counties & Cities Ending Contracts with ICE
Hudson joined a couple of other cities and counties who have distanced themselves from the Trump’s immigration policies. Some that have ended their contracts with ICE to hold immigration detainees include:
Liz Martinez, who works for the nonprofit advocacy group Freedom for Immigrants as a director, thinks that all other counties should follow suit.
Martinez says that the Democrats should stop supporting Trump’s administration mission of expanding detention. The non-profit entity envisions a world that is free from detention.
Will Termination of ICE Contract Cause More Harm Than Good?
Many loved ones and prison advocates have raised concerns on what will happen to the detainees once Hudson has stopped holding them.
ICE will continue with its work of detaining inmates. But where?
Huston ending its contract with ICE will force this detaining body to send the immigrants very far away from the easy reach of their families. That means their loved ones on the outside may never get to visit them.
Brooklyn Defender Services and Bronx Defenders, which both represent immigrants, in a statement said that they really support the move of abolishing the ICE.
However, they believe ending such contracts will cause more harm than good.
What is the Plan for Trump’s ICE Detainees Going Forward?
Huston County is coming up with a plan to end it’s ICE contract. But how are they planning to do it?
William O’Dea, who voted against extending the contract, said that the county will see that the vacated beds are occupied. According to O’Dea, the county will enter into other contracts which will enable them to fill their beds.
That way, Hudson County won’t lose revenue due to losing the immigrant detainees.
A possible option, according to O’Dea, is starting a prison re-entry program at the facility. The program will help inmates in their last 18 months of their sentences become trained for easy transitions from prison back into society.