Atlanta mayor issues order on ICE detainees at city jail

Posted at 1:59 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 15:59:30-04

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    Atlanta, Ga. (WGCL) — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order Thursday morning involving illegal immigrants and the city jail.

Mayor Bottoms had made no secret that she didn’t like the arrangement the city had with the federal government when it came to housing illegal immigrants as they wait for deportation. Back in June, she issued an order saying the city would not accept new detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Her new order ends the agreement with I.C.E. altogether.

It’s an arrangement that made a lot of money for the city. The federal government paid the city of Atlanta $78 a day for each detainee the city jail held for I.C.E. The city made $7.5 million dollars in the last fiscal year through this arrangement.

However, in recent months, the Trump Administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy for people crossing the border illegally prompted protests across the country, including in Atlanta. Mayors in left-leaning cities like Atlanta faced criticism over the perception that they’re helping the president round up and send home immigrants who crossed the border illegally.

Bottoms order ends the agreement between ICE and the city jail. The city will continue its relationship with the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

“It is a significant financial hit to our budget,” said Bottoms. “That shows how strongly the city of Atlanta feels about the position as it relates to ICE.”

When asked if Atlanta is becoming a sanctuary city, Bottoms answered, ““There’s a very loose definition of what a sanctuary city is, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to debate that today. What I will say is we are a welcoming and inclusive city. That is who we have always been and that is who we will continue to be.”

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