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July 10, 2018

Pa., NJ facilities among busiest with federal contracts to detain immigrants

Facilities in York, Hudson, and Essex counties have years-long contracts with authorities

Prisons Immigrants
Occupy ICE PHL Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Enav Emmanuel of the group Philly Socialists spoke at a press conference Thursday, where he claimed that despite Philadelphia Mayor Kenney making a personal brand for himself opposing President Trump, he was responsible for the unannounced police raids on the protest camp outside the Philadelphia ICE headquarters, July 5, 2018.

One county prison in Pennsylvania and two in New Jersey are among the busiest publicly-operated facilities detaining immigrants through contracts with federal immigration authorities, according to a CityLab story published Tuesday.

Per a Immigrations & Customs Enforcement data set from November 2017, there are contracts between local and federal authorities to detain immigrants in 669 counties across the country. Some facilities are intended for detaining immigrants, while others are county prisons that rent out beds to federal authorities for immigrant detention.

CityLab determined that York County Prison in Pennsylvania, and Essex County Correctional Facility and Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey, have three of the five highest average daily immigrant populations among the 111 publicly operated facilities with these contracts.

The York County Prison contract began in April 2003, the Essex County Correctional Facility contract began in August 2011, and the Hudson County Correctional Facility contract began in 1996.

There are 29 public facilities in Pennsylvania with these contracts, and 11 in New Jersey. You can see a map of each facility here.

ICE’s detention of immigrants has been pushed to the forefront of local discussion. On July 3, 29 people were arrested at an occupation protest outside the Philadelphia offices of ICE. Two days later, seven more demonstrators were arrested and Philadelphia police raided Occupy ICE PHL encampment.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is in the midst of deciding whether to cut off access to a city database which shares arrest and court information with ICE.