Immigrant Detention Qutoa

Sep 27, 2016
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The Wall Street Journal

Immigrant Detention System Could Be in Line for an Overhaul

A recent Homeland Security Department decision to consider ending the widespread outsourcing of immigrant detention could mean overhauling a $2 billion-a-year system built around private prison contractors that house the majority of immigrant detainees.

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Critics of ICE question why there are so many people in custody when illegal immigration has slowed significantly. “The growth in the private-prison industry has been driven by more enforcement that fills beds, even at a time of relatively low immigration levels,” said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an organization that studies for-profit incarceration and favors ending it.

The immigrant-bed quota, which Congress first mandated in 2009, benefits the private-prison industry and promotes detention, Mr. Libal and others say. Read more about Immigrant Detention System Could Be in Line for an Overhaul

May 25, 2015
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The Advocate

Women Are Still Locked in Immigration Detention Cells With Men Just Because They're Trans

A former detainee says Immigration and Customs Enforcement must stop housing transgender women with men in private prisons. In a word, it's about rape.

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But another report, released in early April by anti-incarceration group Grassroots Leadership, finds that ultimate goal should be the complete removal of for-profit operation of ICE detention centers.

The report, titled Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, says private corrections giants enjoy a unique position in terms of being guaranteed a revenue stream via a congressional mandate. The report names GEO Group, which runs the Texas prison named in the DOJ report, and Corrections Corporation of America, the operator of the facility where Gamino alleges she was raped, as key perpetrators of this prison-for-profit situation.

Grassroots Leadership reports that the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010 includes language that has been interpreted as requiring Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fill 33,400 beds (later increased to 34,000 beds) with detained immigrants on a daily basis.

"The directive would come to be known as the 'immigrant detention quota' or 'bed mandate,'" reads the report. "The immigration detention quota is unprecedented; no other law enforcement agency operates under a detention quota mandated by Congress."

Grassroots Leadership's Payoff report included Gamino's story, beginning with her childhood in Phoenix, where she grew up after being brought from Sinaloa, Mexico, when she was 6 years old. Read more about Women Are Still Locked in Immigration Detention Cells With Men Just Because They're Trans

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