Us Announces Immigration Detention Policy Changes

08.07.09 | FL News Team

The U.S. is developing a new detention system for immigrants facing deportation. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced on Thursday that an Office of Detention Policy and Planning will be launched. Its mandate is to be the architect of a new civil detention system for immigrant detainees. ICE says the new office will re-evaluate the entire detention system, with a focus on healthcare management and alternatives to detention. Federal contracts with local jails and private prisons will be reviewed and detention managers will be appointed to ensure appropriate conditions in 23 facilities that house more than 40 percent of detainees. At present, nearly 32-thousand immigrants are held at any given time in about 350 local jails. That's been a source of outrage for some people who charge the facilities' medical care and oversight has been poor.


ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton emphasized his commitment to enforce the country's immigration and customs laws but to also guarantee the safety, security and wellbeing of the people in custody. He also said ICE will discontinue sending families to the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Austin, Texas. The former state prison had been criticized for putting children behind razor wire. A lawsuit against it was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.