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Crosscurrents

ICE empties Contra Costa detention center of detainees. Now what?

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Ninna Gaensler-Debs
/
KALW News
Dianeth Lopez speaks at a rally about her husband Raul Lopez, who was moved out of state to a detention facility in Colorado.

Nearly two hundred undocumented immigrants facing deportation for violating federal immigration laws were detained at West County Detention Center in Richmond, awaiting hearings to decide their fates. As of late last week, ICE had transferred all of those detainees to other sites, many of them out of state.

"Well, when Sheriff Livingston decided to end the ICE contract, it effectively started this countdown. Contracts with ICE can only be cancelled with 120 days notice, that would mean all detainees out by November. So then there was this big scramble to get every detainee legal representation. The thought process being that if everyone had a lawyer, it was less likely that people would be transferred. But that’s not what happened."

Ninna Gaensler-Debs is a reporter and editor for Crosscurrents. Since 2012, Ninna has worn a variety of hats at KALW - she was both a producer and event planner for Localore project Hear Here. Ninna also programmed and organized the Sights and Sounds live events - two in Bayview, and most recently, one in East Oakland.