Los Angeles, 30 November. The immigration detention center for women in Burke County (Pennsylvania), which has been the target of criticism from immigration advocates, will close its doors in January 2023, local officials said today.
The Reading newspaper reported that Berks County spokeswoman Stephanie Weaver met with workers at the center today and told them the federal government has decided to terminate its contract with the county and the center will close on January 31, 2023. .
The immigration detention center, which has 96 beds, is operated by Berks County.
The facility, which opened in 2001, was once one of three sites in the US where asylum-seeking families were held, and became the target of protests and criticism for its closure.
The Joe Biden administration released all those imprisoned at Burke in February 2021. But earlier this year it resumed its use and became a facility that houses only immigrant women and their children awaiting asylum or deportation.
It currently has 32 people from Colombia, 15 adult women and 17 minors, according to the newspaper.
In early November, members of the Shut Down Burke coalition, Make the Road PA and CAIR-PA held a protest demanding the women’s release on the grounds that they had “committed no crime”.
Activists criticized that ICE has used the Burks Family Prison for more than two decades to detain immigrant families, including some as young as 14.
He deplored that the detention of women at that location was “dangerous and cruel”.
ICE has not made a decision on what will happen to the women and their children who are being closed or detained.