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Atlanta mayor signs order to stop accepting ICE detainees at city jail

The Hill logo The Hill 9/6/2018 Justin Wise

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Thursday signed an executive order declaring that the city jail will no longer accept people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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"Atlanta has permanently ended its acceptance of ICE detainees and will immediately transfer all those remaining out of our City jail," Bottoms tweeted with a photo of her signing the order.

"We will not be complicit in an immigration policy that intentionally inflicts misery on vulnerable populations."

A spokesperson for ICE confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that all of the agency's detainees at the Atlanta City Detention Center would be transferred by the end of Thursday.

ICE did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from The Hill.

The newspaper noted that the order from Bottoms comes only months after she signed a similar executive order that halted the detention center from admitting any new ICE detainees.

That order was signed in June, amid opposition to President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy that resulted in thousands of families being separated at the southern border.

There were 205 ICE detainees in Atlanta's city jail in June. But that number had decreased to just five as of Wednesday, according to the AJC. The newspaper noted that the number fell because ICE has either deported, released or transferred some of the detainees.

"Atlanta will no longer be complicit in a policy that intentionally inflicts misery on a vulnerable population without giving any thought to the horrific fallout," Bottoms said at a news conference, the paper reported. "As the birthplace of the civil rights movement we are called to be better than this."

The order means the chief of Atlanta's Department of Corrections must stop receiving ICE detainees.

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