The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, ordered the city to detain the detainees of the US Immigration and Customs Service in prison.
The executive order signed on Thursday severed the city's ties with ICE, declaring that Atlanta will no longer keep anyone for the federal agency and transferred most of the remaining detainees out of the jails where they were held.
"We will no longer be accomplices of a policy that intentionally inflicts misery on a vulnerable population without thinking about the consequences," said Lance Bottoms.
"As the birthplace of the civil rights movement, we are called to be better than this," he added.
The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, ordered the city to stop detaining ICE detainees in an executive order signed on Thursday
She tweeted on Thursday saying: "We will no longer be accomplices to a policy that intentionally inflicts misery on a vulnerable population."
As of Thursday night, several ICE detainees had been dismissed and five people were staying in the Atlanta City Detention Center, a significant drop of 205 detainees there in June, according to 11Alive.
During the summer, the number of detainees has decreased because ICE has released several of them, deported others or transported migrants to other detention centers.
The decision to cut ties with ICE was recommended by a working group that reviewed the city's immigration policies following Trump's zero tolerance policy that stopped and divided hundreds of immigrant families entering the border with Mexico.
In June, the Democratic mayor also signed a separate executive order that prevented jail from taking in any new ICE detainee, according to MyAJC.
Lance Bottoms has condemned the separation of immigrant families, which has resulted in his refusal to accept detainees in the prisons of the city.
However, the detention of ICE detainees has been profitable for the city, since Atlanta has been paid $ 78 per day for each detainee held in jail through a contract with the US Marshals service. UU The city raised $ 7.5 million through the agreement for this fiscal year starting in June, more than a fifth of the $ 33 million annual budget of the jail.
As of Thursday evening, five ICE detainees remained in the Atlanta city jail, immigrants detained in another jail in the photo above
Lance Bottoms is an open critic against Trump's zero tolerance policy. In June 205 ICE detainees were held in the Atlanta city jail, in the photo above
Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is also a Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, said the decision not to detain the detainees would add crime to the city.
"The city of Atlanta should focus on cleaning up corruption and stopping crime, without creating more," he said in a statement on Thursday.
A spokesman for Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor, applauded the mayor's efforts to combat the impact of the administration's cruel and inhuman family separation policy. Anyone who opposes keeping families together lacks any kind of moral compass. "
Lance Bottoms added that the city has a partnership with Uber and Catholic and Lutheran charities that will provide free transportation and meals for separated immigrant families on the Mexican border who will meet with relatives in Atlanta.
The mayor is eventually exploring the sale of the city jail that has a decreasing number of inmates and increased maintenance costs.
Also on Thursday, the Trump administration moved to withdraw a 1997 decree that limits the government's ability to detain immigrant children.
If the decree called "Flores agreement" is eliminated, the government can detain immigrant children with their parents for more than 20 days. But federal officials said the children would be "treated with dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors."
"Today, legal loopholes significantly hinder the ability of the department to adequately stop and immediately eliminate family units that do not have a legal basis to remain in the country.This rule addresses one of the main factors of attraction for illegal immigration. and allows the federal government to enforce the immigration laws passed by Congress, "said the US Secretary of Homeland Security. UU Kirstjen Nielsen in a statement.