Mayorkas orders ICE to close two detention centers

National News

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited South Texas on Saturday, March 6, 2021, with a White House contingency, a South Texas lawmaker told Border Report.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to discontinue the use of the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

In a memo to ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson, Secretary Mayorkas stated, “Allow me to state one foundational principle: we will not tolerate the mistreatment of individuals in civil immigration detention or substandard conditions of detention.”

Mayorkas also instructed Johnson to prepare to discontinue the use of the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia as soon as possible and consistent with any legal obligations.

“We have an obligation to make lasting improvements to our civil immigration detention system,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “This marks an important first step to realizing that goal. DHS detention facilities and the treatment of individuals in those facilities will be held to our health and safety standards. Where we discover they fall short, we will continue to take action as we are doing today.”

These actions come following the Secretary’s ongoing discussions with the ICE leadership and workforce, subject matter experts, and a review of DHS reports, government accountability reports, and numerous non-governmental reports, said the news release.

“ICE maintains a nationwide system of facilities for holding noncitizens whose detention is statutorily mandated, or who pose a public safety threat or risk of flight,” said Acting Director Johnson. “ICE will continue to ensure it has sufficient detention space to hold noncitizens as appropriate.”

Secretary Mayorkas said he will continue to review concerns with other federal immigration detention centers and has instructed DHS leadership to provide updates on ICE’s current and potential operational needs, the quality of treatment of detained individuals, the conditions of detention, and other factors relevant to the continued operation of each facility.

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