“We will not tolerate the mistreatment of individuals in civil immigration detention centers,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, adding that both centers are under investigation for being overcrowded and having overall inhumane conditions.
Mayorkas ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to end its contract with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office in Massachusetts and to transfer remaining detainees elsewhere.
"This is an important step to improve all those centers where immigrants who have committed a crime or arrived in the country irregularly await deportation," the official said.
Mayorkas also ordered ICE to end its contract with the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, where over 114 migrants are detained.
“Every person has the right to dignity, safety, and due process. This is a just and humane step, and a victory for the detainees, families, lawyers, and advocates who pushed for accountability," Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted.
Human rights violations are common in U.S. immigration detention centers. In 2020, Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez warned about sterilizations and forced deportations suffered by migrants in detention centers.
“These violations are a horrible image of a deeply rooted tradition. Cruelty and disrespect towards minorities and disabled persons reflect U.S. government contempt for human life,” Rodriguez tweeted.