Atlanta mayor moves to block ICE from using city jails for border detainees

The mayor of Atlanta blocked ICE from using city jails for border detainees.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order on Wednesday prohibiting Atlanta's jails from accepting new detainees of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

"I, like many others, have been horrified watching the impact of President Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy on children and families," Bottoms said in a statement. "My personal angst has been compounded by the City of Atlanta's long-standing agreement with the U.S. Marshal's Office to house ICE detainees in our City jail."

She acknowledged the possibility that her order would prompt ICE to send detainees to substandard, private jail facilities in the state.

"But the inhumane action of family separation demands that Atlanta act now," Bottoms said.

"I think the word 'compassion' comes into it," Trump said as he signed the executive order in the Oval Office. "My wife feels strongly about it. I feel strongly about it. Anybody with a heart would feel this way."

First lady Melania Trump traveled to Texas Thursday in an unannounced visit to a social services center amid a crisis over migrant children being forcibly separated from their parents as a result of the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy.

Mayors from around the nation and across the political aisle also converged on a detention center in a border town Thursday to protest the family separation policy.

"We are better than this," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democratic member of the group, said during a press conference in the Tornillo, Texas, a suburb of El Paso. "Children are not poker chips; they are people. We demand that Washington fix the mess that it has created."

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