ACLU Comment on ICE Plans to Close, Limit Use of Four Immigrant Detention Centers
NEW YORK — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today announced plans to close Etowah County Detention Center in Alabama, a facility with a long history of documented abuse. ICE also announced plans to significantly scale back its use of Glades County Detention Center in Moore Haven, Fla., Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, La., and Alamance County Detention Facility in Graham, N.C., citing concerns about conditions.
In April 2021, the ACLU called for the Biden administration to close 39 ICE detention facilities nationwide, all notable for histories of egregious treatment and civil rights violations.
ACLU Deputy National Political Director Maribel Hernández Rivera issued the following response:
“ICE’s announcement that it will close Etowah County Detention Center is welcome news. The facility has a long history of abuse and neglect, including documented cases of assault, inadequate medical care, and failure to protect people from the deadly threat of COVID-19.
“It is not enough, however, to merely scale back operations at Glades, Winn, and Alamance, the three other facilities ICE issued concerns about. These detention centers also have unacceptable records, including unsanitary conditions, medical neglect, and retaliation against detained people for raising concerns about conditions. Every day that these facilities remain open jeopardizes the lives of people detained there.
“Ultimately, the Biden administration must do much more than close and scale back a select few facilities, especially as it continues to greatly expand detention elsewhere. If the Biden administration truly wants to address the pervasive cruelty and suffering in ICE facilities, it must end its reliance on immigration detention and invest in community-based alternatives to detention.”
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