ICE contract with Bristol County Sheriff’s office terminated by DHS

Bizar Male

DARTMOUTH — The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to immediately terminate its contract with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and transfer the remaining detainees to another facility.

The county’s ICE facility had seven detainees as of May 13, according to BCSO spokesperson Jonathan Darling. 

The county jail is also under federal investigation for complaints of abuse against immigrants, which factored into DHS’ decision, the Washington Post reported. 

“Allow me to state one foundational principle: we will not tolerate the mistreatment of individuals in civil immigration detention or substandard conditions of detention,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a memo to ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson. 

The decision comes after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office contacted Mayorkas last month to share report findings from a 2020 investigation and ask DHS to terminate its contract with BCSO, according to Healey’s office. 

The ICE facility on the campus of the Bristol County Houe of Correction in Dartmouth.

Her office found BCSO violated the civil rights of federal immigration detainees while responding to a disturbance last May, and cited “various institutional failures and poor decisions by BCSO leadership” that resulted in a use of force against the detainees “disproportionate to the security needs at that time.” 

The background:Bristol County Sheriff’s Office accused of violating civil rights of immigrant detainees

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