The Berks County Detention Center, controlled by Berks County is one of three in the country contracted by the federal government to incarcerate young children and their families. A detention center is no place to raise children, where cases of abuse and neglect have been documented.
Both, federal and state laws have determined the illegality of detaining children and their families for extended periods of time and ordered ICE to comply with their ruling.
The PA Department of Health and Human Services did not renew Berks County’s Detention Center License because it violated the laws that children under the age of nine must not be detained in a secure facility. ICE and Berks County have ignored these rulings and the detention center is still operating while its license is in litigation.
Gov. Wolf has the legal and moral authority to comply with Federal and State Laws and shut down the detention center by issuing an Emergency Removal Order (ERO). The center can be turned into an opioid treatment center, so desperately needed in the community. The families can be released to their relatives and interfaith sponsors while they apply for amnesty or wait for their hearing in court. They have the constitutional right to the freedom that all human beings deserve.
Anna Drallios, Middlesex Township, Cumberland County
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