Thank you to the volunteers from Bristol County for Correctional Justice for keeping an eye on the legislation that would hold elected leaders accountable.
County jails in Massachusetts are believed to reap millions from the federal government to house immigrants facing deportation.
But details on how much it costs to detain an immigrant each day and how much is reimbursed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the net gain of housing immigrants in county jails — are hard to come by.
An amendment proposal that Rep. Antonio Cabral said would answer questions surrounding the cost of detaining immigrants at county jails died in House budget negotiations on Wednesday, shooting down advocates’ hopes of determining whether the state is funding immigrant detention for ICE.
“It’s too bad. This would have provided some accountability on monies being expended by the state in support of ICE,” said Marlene Pollock, a member of the Coalition for Social Justice and a vocal opponent of immigrant detention at the Bristol County Jail and House of Correction.
Cabral, a New Bedford Democrat, proposed requiring the Department of Correction and county sheriffs to publish quarterly reports detailing the cost, revenue and federal reimbursements county jails get under two agreements with ICE. His amendment came at a time when both the governor’s and the House budget proposal recommended funding increases to the Department of Correction.