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Gillibrand, Higgins call out ICE over Buffalo area facility

Citing previous reporting by Investigative Post, senator and congressman want stepped up oversight of Batavia facility

BATAVIA, N.Y. — U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins want federal scrutiny of the way Immigration and Customs Enforcement treats immigrants held at its detention center in Batavia.

Investigative Post reported last week that ICE routinely released detainees without regard for their well-being, dropping them off at a local gas station and bus stop without sufficient notice to family or lawyers or means to reach safe quarters. Investigative Post previously reported on what detainees described as unhealthy conditions inside the facility that have contributed to the infection of 49 detainees with COVID-19.

“I’m deeply concerned by the reports of ICE’s inhumane treatment of detainees,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

“I have pressed the inspector general for greater oversight of these facilities to demand more accountability for the well-being of all detainees, including those at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility,” Gillibrand said.

Such a review, if undertaken, would be conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which has oversight of ICE. 

ICE, when asked to comment, said it stands by an earlier statement in which it denied that detainees are released in the manner reported by Investigative Post.

For more on this story, please visit the Investigative Post website.