De­ten­tion cen­ters fill up; bor­der de­tainees be­ing sent to pris­ons

Manteca Bulletin - - Nation -

SEAT­TLE (AP) — More than 1,600 peo­ple ar­rested at the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der, in­clud­ing par­ents who have been sep­a­rated from their chil­dren, are be­ing trans­ferred to fed­eral pris­ons, U.S. im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties con­firmed Thurs­day. They said they’re run­ning out of room at their own fa­cil­i­ties amid Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s crack­down on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion.

The move drew con­dem­na­tion from ac­tivists who said the de­tainees may have le­git­i­mate claims to asy­lum and don’t de­serve to be held in fed­eral pris­ons.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Bob Fer­gu­son is­sued a let­ter Thurs­day night seek­ing more in­for­ma­tion from the Jus­tice De­part­ment and U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment af­ter learn­ing that ICE had trans­ferred dozens of moth­ers who had been sep­a­rated from their chil­dren to the Fed­eral De­ten­tion Cen­ter at SeaTac.

“The Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s new fam­ily sep­a­ra­tion pol­icy is in­flict­ing in­ten­tional, gra­tu­itous, and per­ma­nent trauma on young chil­dren who have done noth­ing wrong and on par­ents who of­ten have valid claims for refugee or asy­lum sta­tus,” they wrote.

His­tor­i­cally, im­mi­grants with­out se­ri­ous crim­i­nal records were re­leased from cus­tody while they pur­sued asy­lum or refugee sta­tus. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has ended that pol­icy.

In an emailed state­ment, ICE spokes­woman Carissa Cutrell said that due to a surge in il­le­gal bor­der cross­ings and the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s “zero-tol­er­ance” pol­icy — de­signed to dis­cour­age il­le­gal bor­der cross­ings — the agency needed to ac­quire ac­cess to more than 1,600 beds in Bureau of Pris­ons Fa­cil­i­ties. The agency said those in­clude 1,000 beds in Vic­torville, Cal­i­for­nia; 209 beds in SeaTac; 230 beds in La Tuna, Texas; 230 beds in Sheri­dan, Ore­gon; and 102 beds in Phoenix.

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