Atlanta Moves To End Relationship With ICE And Demands Removal Of All Detainees From City Jail

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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms already signed an executive order to end the multi-million contract between ICE and the city jail.
Paula Rogo Sep, 08, 2018

The city of Atlanta has announced plans to permanently end its relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and stop accepting immigration detainees at the Atlanta City Jail.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Thursday that her administration would no longer be working with the ICE department, 11 Alive reports.

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“We will no longer be complicit with a policy that intentionally inflicts misery on a vulnerable population without giving any thought to the fallout,” Lance Bottoms said. “As the birthplace of the civil rights movement, we are called to be better than this.”

Bottoms has been a vocal opponent of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, which, among other things, split up many immigrant families.

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She has already signed an executive order to end the multi-million contract between ICE and the city jail.  In June, she announced that the city would no longer accept ICE detainees.

“As we work as a nation to end this despicable immigration policy, the City of Atlanta will not take the risk of being complicit in the separation of families at the border,” Bottoms said at the time. “Thus, I have signed an Executive Order that prohibits the City jail from accepting any new ICE detainees.” 

As a result, the federal agency now has to transfer its remaining detainees out of the city jail as soon as possible.  There were just five ICE detainees in the Atlanta City Detention Center as of Wednesday, down from 205 in June. 

However, the mayor’s decision is not a financial win for Atlanta. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the city has been paid $78 a day for each ICE detainee it has held in the jail through a contract with the U.S. Marshals Service, collecting $7.5 million through this arrangement for this fiscal year

City officials confirmed that the Atlanta jail will continue to hold detainees for other federal agencies.