Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Eliminate the Detention Bed Quota

From Detention Watch Network:

Dear colleagues,
 
Important Action is needed to Eliminate the 34,000 Immigration Detention Bed Quota
 
Call your House Representative today and tomorrow and ask them to support Rep. Deutch’s (FL) and Rep. Foster’s (IL) amendment to HR 2217 that will eliminate the detention bed mandate.
 
Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, June 5th, the House of Representatives will be considering the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act, HR 2217. This bill will authorize the budget for the Department of Homeland Security for the 2014 fiscal year, which includes funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention and removal operations.
 
Over the last few years, the House of Representatives Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Committee has consistently included report language in the appropriations bill that creates an Immigration Detention Bed Mandate, requiring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to fill 34,000 detention beds at all times, regardless of the need for those beds. DHS asserts that Congress has directed ICE to daily fill every detention bed for which Congress has appropriated funds, based on the language in this bill.
 
Representative Deutch (FL) and Representative Foster (IL) are co-sponsoring an amendment to be included on page 13 of the HR 2217 bill that will strike the detention bed mandate language.
 
Tell Congress to Stop Using a Quota System to Detain Immigrants. Make Your Voice Heard and Demand an End to the Bed Mandate!!
 
Please call your U.S. Representative today and tomorrow and ask them to vote FOR Rep. Deutch’s (FL) and Rep. Foster’s (IL) amendment that will eliminate the immigration detention bed mandate.
 
Go to http://www.house.gov/ to find the contact information of your Representative, or call the U.S. House of Representatives Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
 
Some key talking points for calls:
-The mandate, which is essentially a quota system, drives ICE to target deportable individuals in order to funnel them into detention beds that must be filled.
-DHS needlessly spends over $2 billion each year on immigration detention.  That’s over $5.5 million each day. It costs American taxpayers $164/day to hold someone in immigration detention, but alternatives to detention can cost between 30 cents and $14/day.
-No other law enforcement agencies have quotas for the number of people they must keep in jail.
-ICE already has a Risk Assessment Tool to help determine whether an individual presents a flight risk and whether it is necessary for that person to be detained.  The bed mandate ties the hands of ICE officials since they are required to keep beds full even when release is appropriate.

We expect the amendment to be debated and voted on either late Wednesday or early Thursday.  Please reach out to your U.S. Representative as soon as possible.
 
Thank you!

bh

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