California jail ends contract to house ICE detainees

California jail ends contract to house ICE detainees
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A jail in California will cut ties with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), ending a contract to house immigrant detainees in its facility.

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston announced the move on Tuesday following months of protests, according to The Associated Press.

The contract, which Livingston said generates about $3 million in revenue for Contra Costa County, permits ICE to house about 200 immigration detainees at any given time in the West County Detention Facility.

The move comes amid intensified criticism of the agency, with many Democrats and immigration advocates accusing the Trump administration of mishandling ICE to unfairly target immigrants for deportation.

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Calls to abolish the agency have gained traction with lawmakers.

Richard Rocha, a spokesman for ICE, told the AP that the move will negatively impact the agency’s operations, and will also hurt detainees who will have to be moved to other locations, possibly farther from family and attorneys.

“ICE may have to depend on its national system of detention bed space to place those detainees in locations farther away, reducing the opportunities for in-person family visitation and attorney coordination,” Rocha said, according to the news agency.

Contra Costa’s decision comes after the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted to end its contract with ICE, according to the Chronicle. A Texas county also ended a similar agreement last month.