NYIFUP Statement on Hudson County’s Imminent Exit from ICE Detention Contract

September 14, 2021


Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society, rhaskins@legal-aid.org

Daniel Ball, Brooklyn Defender Services, dball@bds.org

Emily Whitfield, The Bronx Defenders, ewhitfield@bronxdefenders.org



Attorneys Call for Immediate Release of Detained Immigrants and Demand End to Transfers

(New York, NY) – In response to reports that Hudson County will be ending its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain immigrants in Hudson County Correctional Facility on November 1st, The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, and The Bronx Defenders – New York City’s defender organizations providing free legal representation to detained immigrants through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) – called on ICE to release immigrants detained at Hudson County Correctional Facility rather than transfer them to other facilities, away from their families, counsel, and communities.

“ICE enforcement and detention is racist, unnecessary, and dangerous. It tears families apart, inflicts lifelong trauma, deprives people of basic human rights and needs, and it kills,” said NYIFUP in a joint statement. “With Hudson County exiting its contract with ICE, there will be one fewer jail in which ICE can incarcerate people simply because of where they were born. The end of this contract represents an important first step, but a true victory will result in ending ICE detention nationwide. ICE retains discretion to detain and release individuals, although immigration enforcement is a civil – not criminal – matter. We ask that the Hudson County Freeholders, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and other officials join us in our call to demand that immigrants currently detained at Hudson are not transferred to yet another dangerous ICE facility elsewhere in the country, but released to their families and homes to fight their immigration cases.”


The New York Family Immigrant Unity Project (NYIFUP) is the nation’s first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation—defined as those in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Funded by the New York City Council since July 2014, the program provides a free attorney to almost all detained indigent immigrants facing deportation at Varick Street Immigration.