HUDSON COUNTY —The New York Times reported Friday that to save money, the federal government is closing an immigrant detention facility in Greenwich Village and moving 300 men to Hudson County’s jail.
“Officials said that the jail, in Hudson County, will house immigration detainees at half the cost — $111 a day per detainee, compared with $253 at the Village center, the Varick Street Detention Facility. It will also provide fresh-air recreation, which the Lower Manhattan jail has never offered, though that has been required by national detention standards since 2000.
“The Varick Street jail, run for the federal government by a private company owned by an Alaskan native tribe, now takes in more than 11,000 men a year, including illegal immigrants, asylum-seekers and legal immigrants who face deportation because they have criminal convictions. Most are longtime New Yorkers facing deportation without a lawyer. ‘Hudson does not represent the future, the big picture of where we’re headed,’ said Beth Gibson, senior counsel to John Morton, who heads the immigration enforcement agency, referring to the Obama administration’s vow to transform detention system into a less-penal one.
However, the immigrant detainees currently in the Hudson County jail will be transferred to other jails to make room for the New York inmates.