U.S. immigration officials said they will temporarily transfer 1,600 detained migrants to federal prisons in multiple states due to a “surge” in border crossings.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement will send 1,000 immigrants to a prison in Victorville, Calif., and the others to facilities in Seattle; Phoenix; La Tuna, Texas; and Sheridan, Ore. Among them are refugees seeking asylum.
ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett said the move is a temporary measure to deal with a “current surge in illegal border crossings” and the Trump administration’s push for a “zero-tolerance policy” on undocumented immigration.
“The use of [Bureau of Prisons] facilities is intended to be a temporary measure until ICE can obtain additional long-term contracts for new detention facilities or until the surge in illegal border crossings subsides,” she said in a statement emailed to UPI on Friday.