Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued an executive order that will stop Atlanta from receiving detainees from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which puts an end to a current deal with the United States Marshals Service.
Bottoms’ order also demands that ICE officials transfer current detainees out of the Atlanta City Detention Center. That order was directed specifically to Corrections Chief Patrick Labat.
Bottoms stated, as per AtlantaGA.gov, “As we work to achieve our vision of an Atlanta that is welcoming and inclusive, with equal opportunity for all, it is untenable for our City to be complicit in the inhumane immigration policies that have led to the separation of hundreds of families at the United States southern border…”
Atlanta has permanently ended its acceptance of ICE detainees and will immediately transfer all those remaining out of our City jail. We will not be complicit in an immigration policy that intentionally inflicts misery on vulnerable populations. Read Here: https://t.co/fdP46uXTee pic.twitter.com/Oe0JrdeGZ2
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) September 6, 2018
“Atlanta has permanently ended its acceptance of ICE detainees and will immediately transfer all those remaining out of our City jail. We will not be complicit in an immigration policy that intentionally inflicts misery on vulnerable populations,” she tweeted.
Atlanta’s mayor also stated “With the guidance of immigration detention and corrections experts, I have determined that the most prudent decision is to permanently stop accepting and housing ICE detainees in the Atlanta City Detention Center,” and “I do not make this decision lightly, or without concern as to the impact on these individuals. But until there is comprehensive immigration reform, this is the only way Atlanta can truly fulfill its legacy of compassion and tolerance. Civil offenses do not warrant criminal consequences – and no one should be jailed solely because they seek the American Dream.”
Mayor Bottoms introduced several other ways that she plans to assist immigrants which included a partnership with Uber and a Lutheran Family Services group to give free rides and meals to families separated at the border of the United States and Mexico. She has also requested to expand legal services offered to immigrants, some of which might be used to protect illegal immigrants from deportation.
Bottoms executive order faces mixed reviews on social media.