Advocates criticize Biden for failing to end use of private immigration detention centers

Immigration advocates say President Joe Biden promised to end private immigration detention centers during his campaign.

Matt Trapani and Amanda Lee

Aug 30, 2023, 9:40 PM

Updated 324 days ago


Activists in New Jersey are blaming President Joe Biden for allowing the use of private immigration detention centers.
Immigration advocates say they are disappointed that they supported Biden, who promised to end private U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention in his campaign.
Federal Judge Robert Kirsch had until Thursday to decide if CoreCivic, the owners of the detention center in Elizabeth, would continue operations. Kirsch has now extended the wait. This means that the contract between CoreCivic and ICE could last for another 12 months.
Activists held a demonstration outside of the Newark Federal Immigration Court on Wednesday. They say that the conditions inside the Elizabeth Detention Center are barbaric. They claim there have been years of physical and mental abuse to detainees.
“These are primarily people who at one point may have been a permanent resident. A lot of people we serve came in as a permanent resident or as refugees but because of interaction with law enforcement, they end up in ICE custody and in detention,” says Katy Sastre, of the group First Friends of NJ & NY. “So, in some ways, they’re getting kind of a double punishment than they’re meant to serve because of their immigration status.”
CoreCivic officials say their job has been to help the government solve problems in ways it could not do alone. Officials say that the safety of those in their care is a priority and claim accusations about conditions inside are false.
News 12 New Jersey has reached out to the Biden administration for comment and is waiting to hear back.
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