The Trump administration’s treatment of undocumented immigrants has widely been regarded as a humanitarian crisis, which subsequently prompted the calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ? the federal agency responsible for deportations.
Along with several prominent lawmakers, even some of the officials working at the agency didn’t want to get their hands dirty with President Donald Trump’s notorious practice of ripping immigrant families apart.
The latest entity to announce its dissociation with ICE is a Northern California jail, which has reportedly cancelled its profitable contract with the federal immigration officials to house immigrant detainees.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department is the third law enforcement agency within the state to cut ties with ICE officials after months of protest over the draconian detention policies.
According to County Sheriff David Livingston, several factors led up to this decision, including rising costs following the surge of detainees and the community’s protests.
"Managing protests in Richmond have become expensive and time-consuming for our staff," the sheriff said.
He went on to assure no layoffs shall be expected following the contract’s cancellation and also the missing revenue will be compensated by the state and local funds.
Livingston also mentioned ICE paid the facility $6 million a year to jail up to 200 people –who are believed to be living in the country illegally – a day.
The agency has about four months until the contract is dissolved.
An ICE spokesman, Richard Rocha, said the county’s decision to severe ties with the agency will hurt the immigration enforcement efforts and the detainees may have to be moved further away from their families.
"Now, instead of being housed close to family members or local attorneys, ICE may have to depend on its national system of detention bed space to place those detainees in locations farther away reducing the opportunities for in-person family visitation and attorney coordination," Rocha said in a statement.
On the other hand, Supervisor John Gioia who represented the city where the jail is located, was happy the contract was terminated.
“The price that we pay in the erosion of trust with our immigrant families is a good reason to cancel the contract," Gioia said.
The Contra Costa County decision to end the lucrative contract came after the Board of Supervisors in Sacramento County voted to end its contract with ICE. Towards the end of the last month, a county in Texas also terminated a similar agreement.
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