LANSING — A bipartisan group of state representatives sent a letter to the director of the Detroit Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office last week expressing concern over ICE sending individuals picked up in Detroit to the agency’s Youngstown, Ohio, facility. Since mid-January, 57 percent of individuals detained have been sent to Youngstown, which is more than 230 miles from Detroit.

“The ability to visit and talk with a lawyer is critical to ensuring due process and access to justice for these individuals,” said state Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) who sent the letter to Rebecca Adducci, director of the Detroit ICE office. “The nine other Democratic and Republican representatives who signed this letter with me did so because we are all deeply concerned that detaining people so far from their home community makes it nearly impossible for them to meet with their lawyers or family members. We need to uphold our basic principles of justice with immigrant community members being held by ICE.”

The letter asks ICE to plan major enforcement activities in a way that promotes rather than hinders access to counsel. The letter also references an earlier meeting Chang had where the director discussed pursuing contracts with additional Michigan facilities.  

In addition to Chang, the letter is signed by state Reps. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township), Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw), Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn), Martin Howrylak (R-Troy), Larry Inman (R-Traverse City), Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Township), Steve Marino (R-Harrison Township), Dave Pagel (R-Berrien Springs) and Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor).