Jeh Johnson

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

Aug 30, 2016
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AlterNet

DHS To Revisit For-Profit Immigrant Prisons: Will It Also Revisit Mass Detentions?

It is not clear, at this point, what impact Johnson’s announcement will have on the people incarcerated in immigrant detention centers, which rights campaigners say are more like prisons or even internment camps.

The incarceration of immigrants, migrants and refugees is the area of greatest growth for the private prison industry in the United States, with the companies Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group making windfall profits. According to the latest figures from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more than 70 percent of all ICE beds are operated by for-profit companies.

In turn, these corporations have been instrumental in pressing the U.S. government to adopt heavy-handed immigration policies. A report released last year by the organization Grassroots Leadership, which opposes prison profiteering, reveals that the for-profit prison industry in 2009 successfully pressured Congress to adopt the congressional immigrant detention quota, which today directs ICE to hold an average 34,000 people in detention on a daily basis. Read more about DHS To Revisit For-Profit Immigrant Prisons: Will It Also Revisit Mass Detentions?

Aug 30, 2016
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Public News Service

El DHS revisará el uso de la detención lucrativa de inmigrantes

Austin, TX – El Secretario de Seguridad Nacional, Jeh Johnson, ha ordenado al consejo consultivo de la agencia revisar el manejo que dan los corporativos privados a los centros de detención para inmigrantes. El movimiento surgió unos días después de que el “Departament of Justice” (Departamento de Justicia) de los Estados Unidos anunciara que está haciendo ajustes al uso de ceder la operación de prisiones federales a empresas privadas con fines de lucro.

El “Deparament of Homeland Security” (Departamento de Seguridad Nacional) anunció el lunes que revisará su política de detención de inmigrantes en instalaciones manejadas por compañías privadas. El anuncio del Secretario Jeh Johnson llega muy poco después de que surgiera la decisión del Departamento de Justicia en el sentido de hacer ajustes a la operación de la operación que las empresas privadas hacen de los reclusorios federales.

Christina Parker, directora de programas de inmigración en Grassroots Leadership, dice que su grupo ha documentado una retahíla de problemas y abusos en las instalaciones lucrativas para inmigrantes de Texas y de muchas partes.

“Dicen que llevarán a cabo una revisión visual de todos los aspectos de contratación en esos lugares, cómo han operado y qué pasó, el tipo de abusos y negligencias que vemos en esas instalaciones. Cualquier revisión honesta tendría que llevar a finalizar sus contratos, tal como lo hizo el DOJ (Departamento de Justicia).” Read more about El DHS revisará el uso de la detención lucrativa de inmigrantes

Aug 30, 2016
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Public News Service

DHS to Review Use of For-Profit Detention for Immigrants

AUSTIN, Texas - The federal Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it will review its policy of detaining undocumented immigrants in private, for-profit facilities. The announcement by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson comes on the heels of a decision by the Department of Justice to phase out private companies used to operate federal prisons.

Christina Parker, the immigration programs director with Grassroots Leadership, said her group has documented a litany of problems and abuse at the for-profit immigration facilities located in Texas and elsewhere.

"They say that they're going to conduct a review looking at all aspects of contracting in these facilities, how they've operated and what happened there, the kind of abuses and neglect that we see in those facilities," she said. "Any honest review looking at that would have to result in them terminating their contracts just like the DOJ did." Read more about DHS to Review Use of For-Profit Detention for Immigrants

Aug 29, 2016
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Huffington Post

Obama Administration Considers Ending For-Profit Immigrant Detention

Private prison contractors may lose the ability to run immigrant detention centers as for-profit businesses.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is ordering a review of the agency’s policy of using private contractors to run immigrant detention centers, according to a statement issued Monday.

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ICE relies on private companies to handle most of its detention operations. Nearly two-thirds of immigrant detention beds are privatized, according to report last year by Austin-based advocacy group Grassroots Leadership. By comparison, 12 percent of Bureau of Prisons facilities are run as businesses.

“Based on the stories that have come out of for-profit detention centers for years, including hunger strikes and protests by detained migrants, there is every reason to believe that ICE-contracted private prisons have many of the same problems that the DOJ uncovered this month,” Grassroots Leadership Director Bob Libal wrote in an email. Read more about Obama Administration Considers Ending For-Profit Immigrant Detention

Jul 3, 2015
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The Austin Chronicle

The End of Family Detention?

"Immigrant advocates applauded changes to the Obama administration's family detention policy unveiled last week that has the lowering of bonds as the cornerstone of the revamping. Categorizing the change as a first step toward reform, activists continue to call to an end to the practice of holding immigrant families.

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Bob Libal, executive director of Grass­roots Leadership, also is calling for an end to the program. In May, his members joined more than 600 protesters – including a caravan of parishioners from Austin-based St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church – gathered outside the recently opened South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, calling for its closure. 'I think there is some positive movement of Johnson's announcement,' he said. "They are feeling the impact of what has been unanimous outrage over the decision to incarcerate kids and moms. But I don't think it goes far enough."

Libal points out the built-in incentive to keep families detained, given the for-profit nature of the detention camps – operated by publicly held companies that bill the government $300 a day to detain each immigrant. 'There is no way to humanely detain a kid in one of these detention camps,' he adds." Read more about The End of Family Detention?

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