Friday, January 15, 2010

Controversial Detention Center in Manhattan to be Closed

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced that next month it will close a controversial detention center in downtown Manhattan and transfer the center’s roughly 300 detainees to a county jail in Hudson County, New Jersey. Known as the Varick Street Detention Facility, the detention center is used to process males who are subject to removal (deportation) due to criminal convictions. The Varick Street jail has long been criticized for falling short of national detention standards, not allowing weekend visits for families, and failing to allow lawyers adequate phone access to detainees, among other complaints.

While Varick detainees will be transferred to the Hudson County Correctional Center by the end of next month, they will still return to Varick Street for immigration court hearings. The Hudson County Correctional Center, located in Kearny, NJ, is purported to be an improvement over the Varick Detention Center.