New Jersey’s Hudson County has agreed to maintain an immigrant detention facility for years to come. Last Thursday, the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved the extension of an Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGSA) with US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), continuing to allow the housing of immigrant detainees at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, New Jersey.
In exchange for housing the immigrant detainees, ICE will pay Hudson County $120 per day, per immigrant detainee—a $10 increase from Hudson County’s prior IGSA with ICE. When multiplied by the recently-reported average of 638 immigration detainees Hudson County houses per day, ICE has allocated $27.95 million for Hudson County, per year, for the duration of detention agreement. Failure to extend the IGSA with ICE would have had dire financial consequences to Hudson County given the significant revenue generated. While many local officials have noted their objection to the agreement, the gap in revenue that would follow was too significant to overcome, particularly in the short period allowed to adopt or reject the agreement with ICE.
Immigration is a highly emotional issue. For local government leaders, small and national businesses, non-profits, colleges, universities, employers, and economists, it is important that the emotions often related to the word “immigration” must not be the primary guide in decision making. The consequences of any immigration-related decision, however minimal, can have dire consequences.
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