Mayor of South Texas town says city will not house ICE detainees

La Joya will not hold ICE detainees, Mayor says

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

LA JOYA, Texas - The mayor of a city in the Rio Grande Valley said the city will not house Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees in its jails or detention centers.

La Joya Mayor Jose "Fito" Salinas confirmed to KSAT that the city will not hold immigrants for ICE. The news was posted to the town's official Facebook page Saturday.

"The City of La Joya will stay the course and continue leading our area in standing up against adversity towards humanity with a firm hand," Salinas said in a written statement. "People First!! Pa'delante!"

One La Joya resident said he believes families shouldn't be separated -- referring to a Trump administration policy that President Donald Trump reversed Wednesday with an executive order.

"I saw what happened yesterday, and it wasn't very nice to see something like that," Javier Rodriguez said. "They have feelings also. They go through a lot, and I think we should be helping them."

Members of La Union de Pueblo Entero, a group founded by labor rights activist César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, have organized numerous demonstrations in the Rio Grande Valley. On Sunday, members of LUPE participated in a rally at Archer Park in McAllen, Texas.

Members of the group spoke about their 24-day hunger strike to support families that have been separated at the border.

The hunger strike involves participants fasting for 24 hours, then passing the hunger strike down to someone else.

New fact sheet sheds light on reunification process

The Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services published a fact sheet Saturday night providing more information on the administration's zero tolerance prosecution policy and family reunification process.

According to the document, 2,053 children who were separated from their parents at the border are currently in the custody of the office of Refugee Resettlement. DHS and HHS said 522 migrant children have been reunited with their parents.

The fact sheet states that ICE has posted information on the reunification process in all of its facilities. The informational posters advise parents who are trying to locate a child to call the detention reporting and information line for assistance.

The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Efren Olivares, an immigration attorney, said he believes the administration never had a reunification plan in place because the fact sheet came days after Trump's executive order.

ICE released the following statement to KSAT Monday:

"ICE does not house ICE detainees at the La Joya City Jail. Depending on the circumstances of each case, it will depend if they are taken to the county jail or be transferred into ICE custody.‚Äč"

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