New Jersey counties get more money for detaining immigrants

July 11, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Federal payments for detaining immigrants are up sharply in some of New Jersey’s most Democrat-leaning counties.

WNYC radio reports that invoices show Hudson, Bergen and Essex counties are collecting about $6 million per month combined from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in exchange for holding immigrants in their jails.

That amount is up more than 45 percent since the beginning of 2015 and continues a three-year trend that began under President Barack Obama.

Many detainees are awaiting trial or deportation hearings.

But recently they’ve included people seeking asylum or those who were separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s strict enforcement policies.

Local officials see the revenue as helping balance county budgets. Some immigrant advocates say detainees have better conditions and better access to legal resources in the county jails.

Update hourly