Immigration Newsletter

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sheriff tells US to move detainees - The Boston Globe

Sheriff tells US to move detainees - The Boston Globe

By Maria Sacchetti
Globe Staff / August 20, 2010

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has ordered US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove all immigrant detainees from a Boston jail by Oct. 12, accusing the agency of a “staggering lack of communication and respect,’’ in a letter sent last week.
The letter accused ICE of failing to provide the sheriff’s office with audit reports, information about detainees’ complaints, and a report on a detainee’s death last year before it was released to the news media. Pedro Tavarez, a Dominican national facing deportation, died at age 49, and the federal investigation last month faulted Suffolk officials for waiting too long to take him to the hospital.
Suffolk’s letter also complained that ICE had failed to grant the jail’s request for an increase in the amount the agency reimburses it for housing federal detainees.

(click on the link above to read the rest of the article)
This is not encouraging news in any respect really or particularly surprising; the Suffolk Co. HOC wants more money per detainee, and ICE is apparently not responsive in cooperating or providing information to other persons or agencies. No shocking revelations there. Up here in New Hampshire - the state's largest County Correctional Facility in Manchester, NH doesn't hold immigration detainees either (and it is practically within walking distance of the ICE office). I have no opinion of who is at fault for these "failures to communicate" that result in local corrections not housing immigration detainees. I do, however, think it is a problem that persons who live in New England get shipped to for profit prisons in the southwest to wait for their cases to be heard.
Many people who are required to be detained by immigration law are not a danger to the community...the only reason to hold them in custody is to prevent them from running away. That can be a legitimate concern in some cases to be sure, but in this day and age there are alternatives to detention that could certainly save the government money and not place the entire breadth of the land mass of the United States as well as prison walls between non-citizens and their citizen family members.


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