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Immigration Law

Where Cities Help Detain Immigrants

Tanvi Misra, CityLab, July 10, 2018 - "In the last few weeks, a handful of localities have taken action to end contracts with federal immigration authorities to jail immigrants, as anti-detention activists have long been pushing them to do, including Springfield, Oregon, and Sacramento, California. Even Atlanta, Georgia, is considering it. The Trump administration’s practice of separating migrant families at the border, now suspended, has left localities scrambling to understand what role they play. And in some places, the crisis appears to have triggered a moral reckoning about the ways local governments participate in immigrant detention. For those who are troubled by these relationships, take note: There are around 850 contracts between local and federal authorities to detain immigrants in 669 counties, according to ICE data from November 2017.* Some of these facilities are primarily for immigrants. Many are local jails or county prisons that rent out beds to federal authorities for immigrant detention. The majority of places where these contracts have sprung up voted for Trump in 2016, but there are several diverse, Democrat-leaning counties that have signed up to jail large numbers of immigrants, too. Some are even considered “sanctuary cities” because they limit police cooperation with ICE."