The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Thursday that it will send more than 1,600 of its detainees to federal prisons, NPR reports. The move is allegedly a result of the “current surge in illegal border crossings” coupled with the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy.” ICE will use Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities as a “temporary measure until ICE can obtain additional long-term contracts for new detention facilities or until the surge in illegal border crossings subsides,” Danielle Bennett, a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement to NPR.
Kevin Landy, a former Obama-era ICE official, told Reuters the development is “highly unusual” and added that “a large percentage of ICE detainees have no criminal record and are more vulnerable in a prison setting.”
One federal facility in Victorville, California is set to house the majority of the detainees, but others will be sent to facilities in Seattle, Washington, La Tuna, Texas, Sheridan, Oregon, and Phoenix, Arizona.
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