Truthout: It’s Impossible to “Distance” in ICE Detention. Doctors Say Free All Detainees.

“Experts in immigration law say that this is one of the fundamental misunderstandings people in the U.S. have about ICE detention: Despite the administration’s rhetoric, ICE does not actually have the authority to detain people in the name of public safety. The agency can only detain people for allegedly violating immigration laws.

“It’s something that I find hard to communicate with people,” Sophia Gurulé, a lawyer who serves as immigration policy counsel for The Bronx Defenders. “The only reason [someone is] even in ICE custody is because they weren’t born in the United States. It’s about immigration laws. It’s not about criminal laws.”

The U.S. public tends to think that ICE detention is like jail or prison: a place where people go if they’ve been charged with or convicted for a crime. But ICE doesn’t enforce criminal laws. In reality, ICE only has the authority to jail detain people who committed a civil violation — namely, violating immigration laws.”

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