As many as 203 inmates at La Tuna Federal Correction Facility in Anthony, New Mexico are expected to be transferred out of the prison in order to make way for ICE detainees who are caught crossing the border illegally.
Five federal facilities were designated as facilities to meet the demand for additional immigration detention space.
The move is part of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy that required federal prosecutors to criminally charge everyone caught illegally crossing the border. Under previous presidential administrations, first-time border crossers were usually put through civil deportation proceedings.
The influx in federal detainees has led to a shortage of facilities available to house immigrants.
On Thursday, ICE confirmed they entered into an agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Prisons, private detention facility operators and local agency prisons to house detainees awaiting removal proceedings.
“To meet the immediate need, ICE has entered into inter-agency agreements with BOP to acquire access to more than 1,600 additional beds at BOP facilities. The use of BOP facilities is intended to be a temporary measure until ICE can obtain additional long-term contracts for new detention facilities or until the surge in illegal border crossings subsides.
“ICE continues to enforce immigration laws consistent with the Administration’s directives and the law. This includes ensuring sufficient detention space to hold aliens prior to removal or adjudication by an immigration judge.”
~U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Other than La Tuna, ICE will utilize 1,000 beds in Victorville, California, 209 in FDC SeaTac, Washington, 130 beds in Sheridan, Oregon and 102 beds in FCI Phoenix.