Governor Wolf announces support for judges decision on immigrant detention centers

  • Craig Rhodes

(Harrisburg) — Governor Tom Wolf is applauding a recent decision by a federal judge in California to release migrant children held in the country’s three family detention centers, including the Berks County Residential Center in Leesport.

U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee on Friday denounced the Trump administration’s prolonged detention of families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The centers are operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Some families have been detained since last year.

Citing the recent spread of the virus in two of the three facilities, Gee set a deadline of July 17 for children to either be released with their parents or sent to family sponsors.

In a statement released yesterday, Wolf said families seeking refuge in the U.S. , especially those with children, should not face indefinite detainment in guarded facilities while they wait for a hearing on their immigration case.

In January, 2016, the Wolf administration revoked the Berks County Residential Center’s  license to operate as a Child Residential Facility.

Berks County, which operates the center under a contract with the federal government, appealed the revocation and the facility has been legally able to operate while its appeal is pending.

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