The vote comes after growing public anger in the city over an agreement Wyatt made with Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house detainees. But the Board said they voted because they had not been informed of the agreement at all.
“And so it is very concerning to me without the approval of the board. This two page rider was never vetted by the board, was never approved by the board, and it just sort of when into effect silently,” said Wyatt Board chair Joseph Molina Flynn.
The board voted to give ICE seven days to remove any detainees held in Central Falls as part of the Southwest Border Zero Tolerance Initiative.
Molino Flynn commented, “Ideally the way that this would move forward is that they would take our motion, and move our detainees out within the seven days, give us the 90 days to vet the process, and then decide whether it makes sense to bring some ICE detainees back.”
ICE has been using Wyatt to house undocumented detainees since March, a move that led to public criticism and prompted several elected leaders to call for the facility's outright closure, a move that may not be within the city's power.