Hudson County Freeholders Break Commitment To End ICE Contract by 2020

In a 6-3 Vote Renewing IGSA Detention Contract, the Freeholders choose to ignore public concerns about ICE detention in Hudson County.

NEW JERSEY -- Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 -- Yesterday, after 10 hours of public comment, during which every public speaker, including immigrants detained at Hudson County Jail and Hudson County residents, voiced overwhelming opposition to the renewal of Hudson County’s Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGSA) detention contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Board of Chosen Freeholders voted to renew their contract for up to ten years. The renewal will likely subject thousands of immigrants to the inhumane conditions of ICE detention in Hudson County.

With only a two-day notice of the vote to the public, an estimated 200 people spoke in opposition to Hudson County renewing the ICE detention contract. In response, the New Jersey Alliance For Immigrant Justice released the following statement:   

“This vote is a complete betrayal of our community, by a body who not only committed to ending this contract, but who is also supposed to represent us. The vote came after hours of testimony, including from many impacted immigrant residents who represent those most likely to be targeted by ICE and suffer the consequences of having their families ripped apart by this rogue and immoral agency. The Freeholders’ callous disregard for public concerns demonstrates just how out of touch they are with the needs of immigrants and that they are not fit to serve in a county that is literally sustained by that very community. 

“With this vote to renew the contract, the Freeholders continue a long legacy of profiting off of Black and brown bodies, by choosing financial gains over human dignity. They may try to hide behind the hypocritical rhetoric of wanting to keep people close to their families and doing what is in the ‘best interest’ of immigrants, but when they ignore the testimonies of those who are directly impacted, it is clear their priorities have nothing to do the wellbeing of the community. The reality is after the Freeholders sign the contract, they are giving ICE agents complete power to decide what happens to those very individuals they claim to want to keep safe in Hudson County Jail.  

“With this decision, the Freeholders have chosen to collaborate with ICE in the continued transfer, detention, and deportation of our neighbors, family members, and loved ones. We will continue to fight for the end of this unjust and inhumane immigration enforcement system by demanding an end to detention contracts in New Jersey and across the country.”