Majority of Jersey City Council calls on freeholders to vote down ICE contract


The majority of the Jersey City Council are calling on the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders to vote down extending their deal with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at tomorrow’s meeting.

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By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We believe that Hudson County should honor their 2018 commitment to exit the contract with ICE,” Council members Joyce Watterman, Mira Prinz-Arey, Yousef Saleh, James Solomon, and Rolando Lavarro said in a joint statement.

“As representatives in the nation’s most diverse city, we must do all in our power to end ICE’s system of immigrant detention that has led to so many abuses. Our county representatives made a promise to exit this contract by the end of 2020 and we expect them to live by their word.”

At today’s freeholder caucus meeting, Bill O’Dea made a motion to move the ICE contract to their next meeting on December 10th, but it did not get a second, as HCV first reported.

Therefore, the resolution, which would allow Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and his administration to negotiate the particulars of the agreement, will be on tomorrow’s 1 p.m. agenda.

At the caucus, Both O’Dea and Freeholder Al Cifelli (D-9) expressed an interest in making a motion to carry the agenda item to a later date to be determined during that meeting.

Under their current deal, which has been on the book in some iteration since 1996 and was most recently renewed in 2018, the county receives $120 a day, per detainee.

The Jersey City Council unanimously approved (8-0, Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano was absent) a resolution opposing the county’s renewal back in August 2018.

Two years ago, shortly after the contract was extended, DeGise said he planned a “phase out” of the deal, but recently expressed an interest in extending the deal under a President Joe Biden administration.

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