Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Termination Of AL Jail's ICE Contract

Termination of Alabama Jail's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Contract, is a Decade in the making.

The Biden Administration’s announcement last week, that it will No longer be Jailing Immigrants at the Disreputable, Etowah County Detention Center, in Alabama.

At least Twice during that time, there were Strong but ultimately Failed efforts, to End Immigration Detention at the Jail.

The first time was in Dec. 2010, when the Obama Administration sought to End its Contract at the half-empty Facility. That ended when a Number of GOP Officials, including then-Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R), basically asked to speak to the Mmanager.

Detention Watch Network, which in February, 2021, listed Etowah among the Ten Immigration Facilities, that should be Shut Down by the Biden Administration, said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), Six years later, also recommended the Contract’s Termination “to no avail.” That February Report detailed Etowah’s “egregious systemic inadequacies,” including its purposely Remote location.

“One person detained at Etowah told advocates that after his wife spent hundreds of dollars and 15 hours traveling to visit him, a guard denied the visit,” the Report said. When the angered Immigrant yelled at the Guard, he was thrown into Solitary Confinement, which is Torture.

“One of the most common grievances for people in ICE detention is the quantity and quality of the food served, and these complaints are almost universal at Etowah,” the Report continued. “It’s particularly striking in this instance given the notoriety of a case involving the county sheriff in 2018, who was discovered to have pocketed $750,000 over three years under a state law that permits sheriffs to keep ‘surplus’ food funds.” The Report said that Detained Immigrants were given Meager Servings of Food with gaps of up to 13 hours between meals.

Under the Biden Administration’s announcement, Three Facilities in: Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina, will also scale back Immigration Detention, as it seeks to Overall, Slash Funding, for thousands of Immigration Detention Beds. But Advocates have expressed worry about what happens to the Immigrants currently in Custody at Etowah. The correct thing to do would be to Release them to their Communities, which ICE has every ability to do. But the worry is that ICE just Ships them elsewhere.

“People must be released back to their community and loved ones as they navigate their immigration case, not just transferred from one fraught detention center to another,” Detention Watch Network Advocacy Director, Setareh Ghandehari, said.

Etowah is the Second Facility on Detention Watch Network’s List to see the End of an Immigration Contract. Last September, the Biden Administration removed All Immigrants from Georgia’s Irwin County Detention Center. The LaSalle Corrections operated Facility detained Women who were Abused by notorious Gynecologist Mahendra Amin, “accused of performing unnecessary gynecological procedures,”.

The remaining Facilities on the List include: GEO Group’s Adelanto Detention Facility in California; Immigration Centers of America’s Farmville Detention Center in Virginia; and CoreCivic’s South Texas Family Residential Center in Texas. While the Biden Administration No longer detains Families at the latter Facility, it continues to Detain Adults.

“From traumatic force-feeding of those on hunger strike, to horrific accounts of sexual assault, to a lack of protection against the deadly COVID pandemic, ICE detention facilities have been the site of abhorrent inhumanity,” Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-16th District), said in a February 2021 Statement from Detention Watch Network. “As we move forward on meaningful immigration reform, we must close these facilities and investigate the human rights abuses that occurred within them.”

“If our goal is to treat immigrants with dignity and respect, and to hold our nation to a higher standard of immigration policies, we cannot turn a blind eye to the shocking conditions taking place inside,” Escobar continued. “These closures are a critical first step toward progress.”

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