This is about the effort to end the immigration contract that Essex County maintains with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Since 2008, Essex has imprisoned immigrants for ICE; this year the contract will be worth approximately $40 million.
These people are all being held in civil detention, which means that they have not been charged with any crime.
There is currently legislation in both the state Senate and Assembly that would be a first step toward ending this contract and similar contracts in Hudson and Bergen counties. The bills would prevent the extension of the current contracts when they expire and prevent the creation of new contracts in other counties.
Both bills are still in committee and each bill has multiple sponsors, Montclair’s Senator Nia Gill among them. In the Assembly, the bill is A5207 and in the Senate, S3361. This is an election year and the legislative session will effectively end around June 30, so there is not much time to get these bills out of committee and onto the floor for a vote. Please call your state senators and assembly representatives, and ask them to support ending the ICE contracts, which Senator Menendez has called “blood money.”
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