ICE needs additional detention space

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer met with CNMI lawmakers on Friday to reiterate the need for additional detention space for aliens being processed for removal.

Attending the meeting with ICE Supervisory Deportation Officer Patrick McCallion were House Committee on Federal and Foreign Affairs Chairman Gregorio M. Sablan, Reps. Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero, Blas Jonathan Attao, Edwin Propst, Vinnie Sablan and Ivan Blanco.

Right now, McCallion said, the only detention space that ICE has is on Guam. Depending on the level of offense, he said, an alien processed for removal will have to be sent to the Guam facility for detention.

The lawmakers said they will help ICE find detention space on island.

Sablan said local funding may be available as he also suggested a joint task force between the CNMI and federal governments to go after illegal aliens, but McCallion said it would be “fruitless” without an adequate detention facility on island.

McCallion said they process about 10 people a week and that there are four ICE deportation officers, including himself, on island.

Following the implementation of federal immigration law in the CNMI in 2008, ICE negotiated with the commonwealth government for the use of a local detention facility. ICE proposed to join the 2007 agreement between the U.S. Marshalls and the CNMI government. Under the agreement, the local adult correctional facility provided the U.S. government 25 detention beds at a daily rate of $77 per bed. In April 2011, the CNMI agreed to provide ICE with detention beds.

But the inter-governmental service agreement was terminated in 2013 because of issues related to deficiencies in the medical care for ICE detainees.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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