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MA Sheriff Asked to Stop Housing Immigrant Detainees at Boston Jail

MA Sheriff Asked to Stop Housing Immigrant Detainees at Boston Jail

Source: Unknown

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

August 21, 2010

SSUFFOLK COUNTY, MA – uffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral said yesterday that US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has asked her to reconsider her decision to stop housing immigrant detainees at a Boston jail. She said she plans to huddle with federal authorities in a bid to resolve her complaints of a serious breakdown in communications with the agency.

“Sometimes you have to be tough just to get somebody’s attention,’’ said Cabral, whose general counsel sent a scathing later to ICE last week, warning officials to remove the immigrants being held at the House of Correction at South Bay in Roxbury by Oct. 12 because the federal agency routinely failed to share information with the sheriff’s office that involved its handling of detainees.

“They want us to sit down and have a conversation, and I never say no to that,’’ Cabral said in a telephone interview. “Perhaps we can resolve outstanding issues. If that can’t happen, we’ll go forward as planned.’’

Cabral complained that ICE failed to provide copies of complaints from detainees, findings by ICE following investigations of those complaints, and audit reports on jail practices. She also said that ICE did not give her office a report that faulted its handling of a detainee who died until after the report was released to the news media.

In the Aug. 13 letter notifying ICE of plans to terminate a seven-year-old contract to house the detainees, James M. Davin, general counsel for Cabral’s office, said they had encountered “a staggering lack of communication and respect from representatives of your agency.’’

He also complained that ICE had failed to negotiate with Cabral’s office since it made a request in January 2009 for an increase in the $90 a day it pays the sheriff’s office to house each detainee. That is the rate it has paid since the jail began housing detainees in 2003.

A spokesman for ICE declined to comment yesterday on Cabral’s complaints or efforts to mend the rift and keep the immigrants at the Boston jail. He released a statement saying ICE was reviewing the letter and “will offer a direct response’’ to Cabral’s office.

Cabral and two other Massachusetts sheriffs said yesterday that the millions of dollars they get from the federal government to house immigrants facing deportation or other immigration proceedings are a boon to their budgets. Cabral said her office was paid about $8 million last year to house up to 260 immigrant detainees at a time, but it also cost just over $6 million to care for them. She acknowledged that the federal dollars helped her budget, because it meant the state had to kick in that much less to her office.

The contract also allowed Cabral to generate revenue from a building that had been empty before the federal detainees were moved in. Its open-floor plan made it unsuitable to house higher-security prison inmates. But Cabral said her contract with ICE “was never about how many people I can get here and what is the reimbursement rate.’’

She said she does not want to characterize her problems with ICE as “some sort of interagency feud,’’ but said the agency’s failure to share information with her staff has affected her ability to properly run the jail.

“It is not OK to have a partner in the detention of any group of people where there is limited communication and a lack of information sharing,’’ Cabral said.

The vast majority of immigrant detainees in New England are held in four Massachusetts jails, in Plymouth, Bristol, Suffolk, and Franklin counties.

Plymouth Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr. and Bristol Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said yesterday that they have a good relationship with ICE and have no problems receiving information from the agency.

“They have shared audits and inmate complaints,’’ said McDonald, who received $13 million from the federal government last year and houses 292 immigrant detainees for ICE and another 124 pretrial detainees for the US Marshals Service. “If shortcomings or issues were found, they notified us in a timely manner.’’

But McDonald said he understood why Cabral would be angry if she failed to promptly receive an ICE report that faulted her office for waiting too long to provide medical care to an immigrant detainee who died in October and then learned of it from news accounts.

Hodgson, who was paid $7.9 million last year to house an average of 220 immigrant detainees each day, said: “This is an important initiative because it saves the taxpayers federal tax dollars. They’d have to ship some of them to Texas and other places, and that’s costly.’’

Hodgson said he renegotiated a contract with ICE, which now pays him $98 a day per detainee. McDonald said he has been reimbursed $93.82 a day for each detainee since October 2008.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    This is 1 world and we should all be able to live together. They are not slaves it makes me sick how ICE conducts their business.

  • 707168ad30b8a8c4_max50


    about 4 years ago


    6 Million to care for 260 inmates?...what were they eating?..steaks?....6 million would buy 10 years worth of MRE's for the scum, and there would be about 4 million left over!.....but that's another story. Why don't all the jails empty their illegals out, put them on a bus and take them to the front porch of the white house and drop them off.....I bet they would do something about it then....they don't worry about it now, because they can't see past their own agendas..

  • Wpns_table_max50


    about 4 years ago


    At one time they were not deporting them just across the border but flying them way down South Mexico. Hope that is still true.

  • 1979_max50


    about 4 years ago


    It is true what BrooklinHillsCop said about coming back across the border right away because there is not fence etc but the solution to that is the second time they are arrested for entering illegally they get 30 days at hard labor picking up trash, cutting grass, building roads etc and then you boot them back across. The third time it is 60 days and then deported and fourth is 120 days etc and you keep doubling the days at hard labor. Of course the Feds still need to get off their duffs and fence the border and stock the Rio Grande with alligators.

  • Uss_rhode_island_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Send them all down to Sheriff Joe for a few weeks. Let him use them as he sees fit, then boot them over the border once the feds get off their collective rear ends.

  • Badge__hat_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Take them to the border and kick their butts across it and lock the gate. Oops, forget, the Feds apparently don't have any gates, or walls, or trenches, or moats, or at least not nearly enough of them.....or maybe the Washington elitists just don't have enough motivation or desire to protect our borders?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    The problem is not that simple...
    What's the use of "deporting" someone that could be back in AZ or TX within hours...? THINK.
    Unless you secure the Border to the point that coming back is -at least- difficult, it's actually better to keep them in jail...
    A deported illegal can -actually- cross that river in be back in the U.S within hours...!!!
    The TRUE SOLUTION is to close that Border... Once and for all... Then, let ICE do its homework.

  • Eagle_and_flag_max50


    about 4 years ago


    It should only take ICE a day or two to figure out if the detainee is illegal. Once that happens, just like Robo said, take their butt to the border and boot them out of the states!! What is so difficult about that?

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    about 4 years ago


    LMAO Robocop33. Well said.

  • 21_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Quit playing around and deport them

  • 1979_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I find the statement that it is cost effective to stay in her jail at almost $100 per day rather than ship them to Texas and other places interesting. Yes it does cost more to ship them to Texas but that is a one time cost and then you just buss them to the damn border and kick them out. Doesn't cost a dime after that! Be cheaper than keeping them even for a week at this jail, much less the months they probably spend there. ICE needs to get off their collective butts and deport these illegals instead of looking at them as future Democrat votes!

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Is this what "it's hitting the fan" means?

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