Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8) says that “maintaining the ICE contract is in the best interests of the detainees and the people of Hudson County,” providing several reasons why he believes this to be true.
Explaining that he, along with other public officials, led a visit to the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny yesterday, Vainieri indicated he spoke to over three dozen detainees who said they had no desire to be transferred to another facility.
“Our facility is safe, modern, clean and professionally managed. The food is nutritious and includes protein. These detainees receive very good general medical treatment, including dental and vision care and substance abuse counseling (if needed),” he said in a statement, noting that these services are provided solely by federal funds.
The board of chosen freeholders decided to continue a multi-million partnership with ICE, which has been on the books for decades, at last months meeting, although their agenda initially said the matter would be tabled.
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise told HCV that “we’ll stick to our guns on this one” 24 hours after the vote had taken place.
The $22 million deal, which sources said is a net gain of about eight or nine million dollar for the county, allows immigrants to be detained at the Kearny facility.
” … Let’s be clear about one thing: As long as Trump is the President, immigrants like these will continue to be detained by ICE. Anyone who disputes this is being intellectually naive or deliberately dishonest,” Vainieri added, also stating he is frustrated by “our broken immigration system.”
“It is up to all of us who oppose this President and his harsh, intolerant and discriminatory policies to do all that we can to treat them fairly. Turning our backs on them and sending them to another state would be foolish, damaging, and in many cases it’s simply cruel. Anyone who truly cares about these detainees must recognize this.”
The Hoboken City Council passed a resolution, which was an add-on measure during new business, one week ago calling for the county ICE contract to be rescinded, with members of the Hoboken Democratic Committee also rallying against the agreement.
For those reasons, Vainieri’s remarks will likely be seen as a preemptive strike before tomorrow’s scheduled 1 p.m. meeting.
While the contract is not on the agenda, activists are expected to call for the deal to be cancelled during the public portion of the meeting.