ICE to imprison 1600 illegal alien detainees
Each month, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) detains around 50,000 illegal immigrants caught at our border or swept up in raids and other enforcement actions. Many are held in detention centers until they are processed and given their release with the promise that they will eventually appear before an immigration judge to decide their fate.
It is a system that almost guarantees that the majority of illegals caught at the border end up escaping into various illegal alien communities across the country, rarely to be heard from again.
Now, ICE will use the federal prison system to house at least some of the illegals, guaranteeing that they show up for their deportation hearing.
Under former President Barack Obama, many immigrants without serious criminal records were allowed to await their court dates while living in the United States. Others were housed in immigration detention facilities or local jails. ICE has used federal prisons in the past but not on this scale, sources said.
The new policy drew criticism from immigration advocates and former officials.
Kevin Landy, a former ICE assistant director responsible for the Office of Detention Policy and Planning under the Obama administration, said the move to house so many detainees at once in federal prisons was “highly unusual” and raises oversight concerns.
“A large percent of ICE detainees have no criminal record and are more vulnerable in a prison setting – security staff and administrators at BOP facilities have spent their careers dealing with hardened criminals serving long sentences for serious felonies, and the procedures and staff training reflect that,” he said. “This sudden mass transfer could result in some serious problems.”
They may not have criminal records but they picked one up when they crossed the border illegally.
ICE spokeswoman Dani Bennett said ICE is “working to meet the demand for additional immigration detention space” due to a surge in illegal border crossings and a U.S. Department of Justice zero-tolerance policy.
“To meet this need, ICE is collaborating with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), private detention facility operators and local government agencies,” she said in a statement to Reuters.
In April 2018, nearly 51,000 people were apprehended at or near the southern border, up from about 16,000 in the same month a year earlier.
A new agreement between ICE and the Justice Department makes about 1,600 prison beds available and is expected to last 120 days, giving ICE time to secure more space for detainees. It comes amid a crackdown by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on both illegal border crossings and people seeking asylum.
Recently, Sessions said the Justice Department planned to prosecute every person who crosses the border illegally and to separate migrant children from their parents.
It always amazes me that people whine about enforcing the laws of the United States. If you hate the fact that we have a legal immigration system - no matter how imperfect - and believe that anyone who shows up at our border should be welcomed with open arms, then change the damn law, don't try and make political hay by appealing to the compassion of the American people to take pity on the poor, destitute illegals.
Putting illegals in prison is not a long term solution by any means, but it beats the "catch and release" policies of the Obama administration. The key is to increase enforcement efforts and hire thousands more immigration judges to speedily handle the deportation cases for illegals. The Justice Department is in the process of hiring those extra immigration judges and ICE is authorized to hire 10,000 more officers.
It took decades to screw up immigration enforcement to where it is now and will probably take many years to fix it.