Response to Hudson County’s proposed resolution on the ICE jail contract

In response to Hudson County’s proposed resolution on the ICE jail contract, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice released the following statement:

While the whole country is horrified over the cruel separation and detention of families seeking asylum at the border, Hudson County continues to be a part of this system by financially profiting off the detention and deportation of people.

Unfortunately, while advocates and residents are fighting to end immigration detention and deportations across the country, Hudson County Freeholders continue to play politics with the lives of immigrant detainees and their families. Public statements have been made, yet what is before the freeholder board today is not what they committed to. The proposed resolution on the Intergovernmental Service Agreement maintains the status quo of their relationship with ICE until 2020, at which point they are free to continue that relationship with another resolution.

Hudson County can plan their phase out with the input of advocates to ensure that our families gain freedom and are not negatively impacted by this transition. Specifically, the proposed resolution does not propose an end date, does not impose a cap of the number of detainees, comply with latest detention standards to better the treatment of detainees and inmates, and adding resources to ensure that our families gain freedom.

All the Hudson County Freeholder actions indicate that they are simply hoping this pressure dies down. They are hoping that in two years this won’t be an issue anymore and that they can go back to previous excuses for partaking in this inhumane system. As Hudson County is one of the most diverse counties not just in New Jersey, but in the country, these actions do not reflect the values of their residents’ values. Today’s resolution should be tabled until the freeholders can lay out clear steps to phase out the contract and meaningfully engage with impacted community members and the advocates who support them.