- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - About 125 Haitians at the Charleston County jail awaiting deportation won’t be going home any time soon.

Charleston Sheriff’s spokesman Eric Watson tells local news outlets that another 125 are expected this week, but none of them can be sent back to Haiti because of damage there caused by Hurricane Matthew. Authorities say they’ll be deported when conditions improve.

Matthew hammered Haiti this month before moving north and making landfall in Charleston County.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox says the detainees were in this country before the hurricane. The federal government recently agreed to pay the jail $55 a day for each detainee it houses.

Watson said once immigration officials determine that the detainees will be returned to Haiti, they will be returned to federal custody. Cox said the detainees will be taken to one of three facilities in Georgia before they’re returned to their homeland.

Customs officials say the federal government has space for about 34,000 detainees nationwide. But currently, there are about 40,000 detainees in custody which means the agency is looking for more room and other facilities.

Cox said detainees could be coming to Charleston from facilities as far away as Arizona and Texas.


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