Activists call on prison to stop housing immigration detainees


PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) –

Immigrant rights activists in Massachusetts plan to rally near historic Plymouth Rock and outside a local jail to call on the facility to stop housing federal immigration detainees.

On Thursday evening, organizers will hold a vigil at Pilgrim Memorial State Park on the waterfront, followed by a march and rally at the Plymouth County Correctional Center.

The prison is the only facility remaining to house immigration inmates in the state, with some 77 inmates as of the end of last month, according to federal data.

Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald recently informed the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement that his office was ending a program that deputized some of its employees to act as federal immigration officers. But he said the prison would continue to house immigration detainees, as it has done since the 1990s, despite calls from activists.

Immigration rights groups say ending prison contract with ICE and releasing immigration detainees is the only way to deal with ‘critical health risks’ posed by COVID -19, as well as “deprivation of liberty and legal rights” in the establishment.

Organizers for the month of March include former inmates, family members of current inmates, and groups such as the Boston Immigrant Justice Accompaniment Network, the AMOR Network and the FANG Collective.


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