WASHINGTON D.C. -- Authorities are transferring about 1,600 ICE detainees into federal prisons, including a prison in California, according to Reuters.
An ICE spokesperson says the agency is working to meet demand due to a surge of illegal border crossings and the Justice Department’s zero-tolerance policy.
The spokesperson says five prisons will temporarily take detainees awaiting court hearings. One of the prisons is in Victorville, California and will hold 1,000 people.
Other prisons set to receive detainees are located in Washington state, Oregon, Arizona and Texas, Reuters reports.
In April of this year, nearly 51,000 people were apprehended near the border. Roughly 16,000 people were apprehended at the border in April of 2017.
The agreement between ICE and the Justice Department makes 1,600 beds available during the 120 day agreement. The agreement allows ICE extra time to find more space for detainees.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy during a visit to San Diego in early May.
"The American people are right and just and decent to ask for this. They are right to want a safe and secure border and a government that knows who is here and who isn't," Sessions said.