Essex Jail Lockdown Keeps ICE Detainees in Cells for Days

WNYC | February 22, 2019 | Immigration
Immigrants are increasingly held in county jails as they await civil hearings on orders of deportation

Detainees at the largest immigrant lock-up in the New York area, the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark, were held in their cells for days earlier this month, as helmet-clad officers swept the facility for contraband.

Immigrants in the higher security wings were allowed 10 minutes, twice each day, to leave their cells and use the shower, phone and microwave, according to attorneys and detainees. The lockdown lasted from February 4 to 8, and lawyers who represent immigrants at the facility said some stayed in their two-man cells for the entirety of those five days.

A county spokesman rejected that, saying that ICE detainees were returned to “regular movement” after just two days.

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