DHS Requirement Keeping 34,000 Immigrants Locked Up Daily To Continue


Credit: Gerald L. Nino, CBP, DHS/wikimedia

A budget requirement for the federal government to hold 34,000 people for possible deportation in prison has received little attention as the House of Representatives considers the Senate's Gang of Eight immigration reform bill.

From Reuters:

The policy, driven by law-and-order advocates in both parties who say the government could do more to crack down on illegal immigration, helps explain why detention costs for undocumented immigrants have more than doubled since 2006, to $2.8 billion annually. The rise has occurred even as the number of those caught along U.S. borders has fallen by two-thirds, according to government statistics.

Immigrant-rights advocates say the detention requirement forces the government to needlessly lock up thousands of people who could be supervised in less-confining ways for much less money, subjecting them to sometimes-harsh treatment in prison-like facilities as they await deportation hearings.

The requirement was implemented in 2007 by Congress as part of the Department of Homeland Security's 2007 appropriation, and will continue if the House-passed DHS budget becomes law. An amendment to end the provision received support from House Democrats, though Reps. Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, and Mark Sanford were three of only eight Republican votes in support of the amendment, which failed 232-190 in June.

"The amendment [would have removed] the requirement in the underlying bill that ICE maintain at least 34,000 detention beds," Rep. Amash (R-Mich.) explained on his Facebook page, "which ICE has interpreted to mandate an average daily population for 34,000 individuals. ICE shouldn't be held to some arbitrary figure for detentions."

But it's not just bureaucrats and restrictionists behind the program, according to Reuters.

The detention quota also delivers millions of dollars annually to private prison companies such as Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, which together handle about half of all immigration detainees.

CCA and GEO Group are key players in Washington, spending millions of dollars in the past decade to lobby Congress and contributing to the campaigns of lawmakers who support tough immigration policies.

It's unlikely the detention quota will end without contention from bureaucrats in the DHS and cronies of the prison industry, but as Shikha Dalmia writes in an article published earlier today on immigration, Republicans in Congress would be better served advocating limited government, not militarized borders or a set requirement for how many people land in jail for being in this country unlawfully as a result of the country's flawed immigration policy.

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  1. Drug users and illegal immigrants fill the jails, and there’s so little space to house inmates that violent felons are being released early just to make room for people convicted under unjust laws.

    We’ve got some seriously fucked-up shit going on in this country, and we have to fix it.

    I propose we start by nuking DC from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    1. If you think Marilyn`s story is shocking,, my best friend’s step-mother makes $67 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $12430 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here

      1. Reason needs to stop censoring Marilyn’s comments. How am I supposed to know if what she said was shocking compared to Whiplack’s best friend’s step-mother’s story?

    2. I don’t think that you or I have the authority to arbitrarily exterminate an entire species.

  2. That’s inhumane.

    Deport them immediately so they can be with their families.

  3. “The amendment [would have removed] the requirement in the underlying bill that ICE maintain at least 34,000 detention beds,” Rep. Amash (R-Mich.) explained on his Facebook page, “which ICE has interpreted to mandate an average daily population for 34,000 individuals. ICE shouldn’t be held to some arbitrary figure for detentions.”

    Look man, sometimes in order to justify the existence of a police-state, *you have to have a gulag*. No Gulag = No Overtime benefits for all us ICE folks! People might start gettin’ all weak-kneed on the IMPETENTRABLE BORDER WALL(tm) contract, which as you know is going to produce a whole lotta jobs for those of us with relatives in the Chain-Link/Barbed Wire industry. I mean you might argue that just “always doing something the most expensive and inhumane way possible” is, like, a *bad* idea sometimes… but tell that to these young guys just getting started in the Border Police… I mean, you want to throw their perfectly good careers down the toilet, send them off to work in something demeaning… like, I don’t know… landscaping??… Well it’s on your head buddy! The price of FREEDOM is a little Gratuitous Security-Industry Pork sometimes…

  4. It’s surprising how high that number is, I know a guy who spent 20 something years in prison (for a real crime) who said he’s been to prisons that are almost entirely made up of illegal immigrants. He said there are some that deserve to be there but a lot just got caught more than once and might serve 10-20 years maybe more.

  5. Tragicomedy. Or maybe tragifarce. We’ll build a wall, deport millions of illegals, maintain an expensive border patrol with all the ethos of East German population control, to perpetuate simultaneous myths about immigrant employment and drug prohibition. And the terrorists are either homegrown or legal immigrants.

  6. When you cross the imaginary line we pay people to catch you and keep you locked in a little room. Just stay on the side of the imaginary line you were born on!

    1. You keep using that word.

  7. That police woman is kind of hot.

    1. Dude, Angie Dickinson is, like, 90 or something.


  8. And rewriting the same facts to the opposite slant of that in the Reuters quote:

    Replacing the less effective “catch-and-release” methods of supervision advocated by activists for illegal immigrants, the residential facilities for those insisting on deportation hearings has contributed to a two-thirds decline in illegal immigration (as measured by captures along U.S. borders). And it’s a bargain; the increased cost of the tougher measures are less than a quarter of one percent of the increase in government spending since 2006.

    1. Yeah, I’m sure that’s the reason for the decline in illegal immigration, not the shitty US economy

      1. Probably the economy is most of it, yes. But there’s essentially always movement at the margins, thus the “contributed”.

  9. Reps. Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, and Mark Sanford were three of only eight Republican votes in support of the amendment

    Buncha Wacko-Birds!

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