The city of Atlanta has announced it is no longer accepting detainees from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an Executive Order directing the Chief of the Atlanta City Department of Corrections to take the necessary action to permanently stop receiving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees under the current agreement with the United States Marshals Service,” the city announced in a press release. “Additionally, the order directs Corrections Chief Patrick Labat to formally request that ICE officials transfer all current detainees from the Atlanta City Detention Center as soon as possible.”
The city was housing about five ICE detainees as of Thursday morning, Sept. 6.
The city has an agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service dating to March 2010 regarding ICE detainees.
“That agreement was originally halted by the Mayor’s temporary Executive Order in June of this year, after the Trump Administration began to enforce zero-tolerance immigration policies that resulted in the separation of hundreds of families at the United States/Mexico border,” the city says. “To assist the City in determining the best path forward, the Mayor convened an Advisory Committee on Immigrant Detention made up of advocates, representatives of ICE and Department of Corrections staff. After numerous meetings and the receipt of public input, the committee recommended that the City should no longer accept ICE detainees.”
Mayor Bottoms also announced partnerships that will support immigrants in Atlanta, “including a partnership with Uber, Catholic Charities, and Lutheran Family Services to provide free transportation and meals to families separated at the US-Mexico border and reunited in Atlanta.”
“She will also be asking the City Council to approve the expansion of legal services to immigrants through the City’s Access to Justice program in the Office of the Public Defender,” the press release adds. “Finally, the Mayor announced that the City of Atlanta has filed an amicus brief along with other U.S. cities to protect Americans who have Temporary Protective Status (TPS) from deportation. This will assist 12,000 Georgians who are from El Salvador, Sudan, Haiti, and other affected countries.”