Grassroots Leadership Condemns Expansion of For-Profit Family Detention Centers

November 18, 2014

Closure of Artesia Facility Necessary, But Massive New For-Profit Detention Camp Should Not Replace It

Grassroots Leadership condemns the announcement today from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that it would close the family detention center in Artesia, New Mexico while solidifying plans to open and expand a new for-profit family detention center in Dilley, Texas.

“While it is clear that the Artesia family detention center needed to be closed, it is outrageous that ICE would expand family detention capacity by opening this remote detention camp in Dilley nearly four times the size of Artesia,” said Cristina Parker, immigration projects coordinator for Grassroots Leadership. “There is nothing like this in U.S. history except for Japanese internment. This is a shameful move.”

The Artesia facility, with a capacity of 672 beds, will close in December while ICE plans to open the private family in Dilley, with an ultimate capacity of 2,400 beds.  The Dilley facility will be located on the site of a “mancamp” for oil workers and will cost taxpayers $298 per day for every woman and child detained there.  The detention center in Dilley would be the nation’s largest immigrant detention center, and one of the largest for-profit prisons in the country.  

The Dilley facility would be operated by the Corrections Corporation of America, the same for-profit prison corporation that operated the disgraced T. Don Hutto detention center when it was a family detention center between 2006-2009.  Family detention was ended at Hutto in 2009 following years of protests, lawsuits, and allegations of human rights abuses.  

Last month, Grassroots Leadership released a report, For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families, along with our partners Justice Strategies highlighting the litany of scandals and abuses that enveloped private prison corporations when they operate facilities incarcerating or detaining youth, women, and immigrants.   



For immediate release: November 18, 2014

Contact: Cristina Parker,, (915) 497-2747