ICE ends contract with Santa Ana to house immigration detainees at jail

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A contract agreement between the city of Santa Ana and ICE on keeping immigration detainees housed at the jail will be dissolved in 90 days.

On Thursday, ICE notified the city that it would end the contract within that timeline because of Santa Ana's recent actions to reduce the maximum capacity of detainees at the jail, according to an ICE spokesperson.

In December, the Santa Ana City Council declared the municipality a sanctuary city in an effort to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. After that announcement, city staff worked to reduce the number of maximum capacity detainees at the jail and requested a jail re-use study.

The city had planned to end the contract in 2020, but ICE decided to terminate the contract sooner.

The ICE spokesperson said while the agency values the relationship with the city, the recent actions means the contract is "no longer viable or cost effective."

The jail - which the ICE spokesperson said is one of the smallest detention facilities used by the agency's Los Angeles-area bureau - provides about $340,000 to Santa Ana for the contract.

As of Thursday, there were 74 immigration detainees staying at the jail. Those who are still at the jail when the contract ends will be transferred to other housing within ICE's detention system.
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