Man transferred by ICE from New York to Mississippi without any prior notice ‘feeling very defeated’

Man transferred by ICE from New York to Mississippi without any prior notice ‘feeling very defeated’

July 28, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

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As detailed earlier this week, legal advocates had tried to get answers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), after hearing rumors that transfers were imminent. Jackman said she asked if it was true that immigrants were being sent to cities, including Kansas City. “In response, ICE denied the specifics of their accounts but did not deny that a transfer was imminent,” Hell Gate reported.

The outlet obtained one email in which an official told an attorney that, to their knowledge, ”there is/are no detention facilities utilized by ICE in either Kansas City, Kansas, nor in Kansas City, Missouri, for that matter.” But this sure feels like a sneaky way of saying that no one is getting transferred to Kansas or Missouri, because they’re actually getting sent to Mississippi.

As Hell Gate reports, and we also noted at the time, civil rights advocates in April called on the Biden administration to shut down Natchez’s Adams County Detention Center, along with nearly 40 other immigration detention facilities. Adams County is among the few on the list identified as meeting four different criteria that merit closure, including being located “in remote locations with limited access to legal counsel.” The remote location of these facilities is intentional. 

“Adams County Detention Center began quietly accepting immigrant detainees in June 2019, and has quickly amassed a reputation of misconduct and abuse,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Detainees at Adams County
recently filed civil rights complaints detailing a pattern of excessive force and physical abuse by ICE agents and facility staff, use of coercion to get Cameroonian detainees to sign travel documents for deportations, and torture.”

The ACLU notes in the letter that 51-year-old Bahamian national Anthony Jones died at Adams County in December 2019. BuzzFeed News reported last year that an unpublished Homeland Security inspector general report found that Jones died in custody after staff failed to get him to a hospital for urgent care. “When he went to the jail clinic for chest and arm pain, medical staffers gave him medication and testing but did not send him to the hospital, according to the report.”

“While deaths in ICE custody are exceedingly rare, these events are unfortunate and always a cause for concern,” an ICE spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. That’s simply a lie. At least 21 people died in ICE custody in the 2020 fiscal year, the highest number in 15 years. More than a third died after testing positive for COVID-19. Among them was 61-year-old Cipriano Chavez-Alvarez, who was ordered released from prison by a federal judge due to his underlying medical conditions, only to then be snatched up by ICE. He died of COVID-19 on Sept. 21.

“Jackman got to briefly speak to her client on Tuesday afternoon,” Hell Gate reported. “She wonders if this is all just part of an effort to wear immigrants down mentally, to the point where they might accept deportation. ‘He told me he was just feeling very defeated.’”

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