Trump’s "Zero Tolerance" Policy Sends 1,600 Immigrant Detainees to Federal Prisons
KENNER, LA – June 8, 2018
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is transferring some 1,600 detainees to five federal prisons, officials from The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported Thursday.
ICE spokeswoman Dani Bennett said: “US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is working to meet the demand for additional immigration detention space, both long and short term” due to a surge in illegal border crossings and a new U.S. Department of Justice zero-tolerance policy.
“To meet this need, ICE is collaborating with the US Marshals Service, the Bureau of Prisons, private detention facility operators and local government agencies,” she said in a statement to Reuters.
The number of arrests made by U.S. border agents has risen to more than 50,000 for the last three months, jumping to their highest levels since illegal immigration numbers dipped after Trump took office. The Department of Homeland Security took 52,000 migrants into custody in May - nearly three times the number from the same month in 2017. The reversal has angered the president and left him furious at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other aides.
Trump’ s "zero tolerance" policy has significantly increased the number of children being separated from their parents, which has become an emotional flash point in the national debate over immigration.
The detainees will be split between five prisons, with one in Victorville, Calif., taking in 1,000 people,
Michael Kaufman, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said the news was a disturbing development. Until now, he said, civil detainees had been held by ICE in county jails, or by contract in privately run facilities.
Union leaders at prisons in California, Texas and Washington State said they had little time to prepare for the massive intake of detainees.