Despite recent comments from President Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas condemning migrant family detention and a recent court filing by the administration outlining plans to effectively end the practice, a senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement official now tells NBC News the agency will keep detaining families after all.
“ICE does maintain and continues to a system for family detention,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “We are not ending family detention. We are not closing the family detention centers.”
In the filing late Friday, lawyers for the Biden administration said the facilities holding migrant families were “in the process of transitioning to an under-72 hour family facility.” But the ICE official said that the agency will not impose a 72-hour limit on detaining families and will continue to hold families until the 20-day court-mandated legal limit.