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Women’s Refugee Commission Responds to DHS Decision to Close Two Immigration Detention Centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to close two immigration detention centers. The centers — located in Georgia and Massachusetts — have faced allegations of abusive treatment of people seeking safety and others living in the U.S., including the use of forced hysterectomies.

In response to today’s announcement, Katharina Obser, acting director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), issued the following statement:

“Today’s news that ICE intends to close two detention facilities is a critical step in the right direction toward ending a system that WRC and so many others have documented — thanks to the countless individuals who have spoken out about their experiences — to be inhumane, unjust, and dangerous.

“The Biden administration must work to further dismantle an immigration detention system that is beyond repair. As Secretary Mayorkas noted in his statement, today’s announcement is an ‘important first step.’ WRC hopes that it will not be the last, and that the administration works to build an immigration system grounded in dignity and fairness rather than detention, deterrence, and punishment.”