The Legal Aid Society is sounding the alarm as immigrant clients in ICE detention centers in New Jersey continue to be transferred to other locations, as recently as this weekend, without notice to their attorneys or families, as reported by Spotlight News NJ.
Since the beginning of the year, ICE has abruptly moved at least 50 locally detained immigrants without notice, utterly disrupting their access to counsel – as well as to their families and support networks. In many cases, detained individuals have simply disappeared, with ICE deportation officers refusing to respond to reasonable inquiries from counsel about their clients’ whereabouts.
These transfers are unnecessary, costly, and punitive. Even if local facilities are closing, as they are in New Jersey, ICE has the authority to release individuals to their families while they await legal proceedings.
Advocates have called on Governor Murphy to sign a bill that would prevent state, county and local entities and private correctional facilities from signing new or expanding current contracts with ICE.
“Now is the time for Governor Murphy to decide whether he stands with New Jersey’s immigrant communities or with the inhumane immigration detention system,‘’ said Delaney Rohan, an attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit who represents individuals detained by ICE.
Last Updated: 5 August 2021
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