JERSEY CITY – The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders authorised a brand new contract with federal officers to proceed housing immigrant detainees on the county jail in Kearny.
Thursday afternoon’s vote was met with anger by a handful of individuals, who in contrast the detention of undocumented immigrants to focus camps and modern-day slavery. Tensions grew amongst freeholders, who had determined to desk the vote throughout Tuesday’s caucus assembly however added the merchandise again onto the agenda after Thursday’s assembly started.
Underneath the brand new contract, the county might be paid $120 per day by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for every immigrant detainee housed on the facility, a $10 enhance from the phrases of the contract that expired in January.
The jail presently has about 800 detainees, greater than double the roughly 400 inmates being held on felony expenses. Officers estimate underneath a dozen of these detainees are from Hudson County, whereas most are from the New York space.
“So long as one immigrant is caged, our political processes are all one way or the other insufficient,” Jersey Metropolis resident Anna Brown mentioned sporting an abolish ICE t-shirt as she urged the board to reject the contract.
Freeholder Joel Torres requested his colleagues to hold over the vote into subsequent month’s assembly, saying he wished a full understanding of the contract earlier than deciding on whether or not he supported the contract, to which Vice Chairman Invoice O’Dea agreed. The board voted at first of the assembly so as to add the contract again on the agenda.
“It isn’t that tough to do efficient authorities by simply doing a deeper dive, trying deeper into this, studying extra data, and gathering extra perception,” mentioned Torres, who represents Jersey Metropolis.
However when it got here time for the vote, the contract handed by a 5-2 margin. Torres and O’Dea voted no, whereas Chairman Anthony Vainieri, Kenneth Kopacz, Jerry Walker, Anthony Romano, and Caridad Rodriguez all voted to approve the contract.
Each Albert Cifelli and Tilo Rivas have been absent.
The freeholders who voted in favor of the contract didn’t specify their causes for voting sure. County officers, nonetheless, have mentioned preserving the power open in Hudson County retains immigrant detainees within the New York space near their households and authorized illustration.
In keeping with an evaluation by WNYC, ICE has elevated its funds to Hudson, Bergen, and Essex counties jails by 46 p.c over the previous 12 months. Hudson County acquired about $2.7 million per 30 days from ICE in 2017, the report signifies.
Earlier this 12 months, Hudson County ended its controversial involvement within the federal 287(g) program, which allowed corrections officers contained in the jail to help ICE in flagging undocumented immigrants as they got here into facility.
Some immigrant advocacy teams, like First Mates and the American Mates Service Committee, mentioned whereas they don’t want anybody detained, their focus stays on long-term options and serving to immigrants with companies and assist.
“This can be a long-standing battle,” Sally Pillay mentioned.