Biden weighs putting an end to private immigration detention facilities

Two supporters told POLITICO that as of Tuesday they did not believe that an order would ultimately come about. The White House plans to take further measures related to immigration later this week. In a briefing Tuesday, Susan Rice, director of Biden’s domestic affairs council, said the order regarding private prisons “makes no statement about what may or may not happen to ICE facilities”.

Unless Biden issues a similar order for ICE contracts, immigrant advocacy would argue deeply. Heidi Altman, political director of the National Immigrant Justice Center, said lack of action would convey that “private prisons are unacceptable to those in the criminal justice system, but not to those in the immigration justice system”.

“You have now directed the DOJ to end the use of private prisons, which means it recognizes that no one should benefit from people’s cages,” said Lorella Praeli, president of the community change action group. “It is a vision that is incomplete if it does not address ICE incarceration.”

In recent years, immigration and customs have increasingly relied on private institutions to detain immigrants. This practice has intensified under the Obama administration and has skyrocketed under the tough enforcement of the Trump administration and changes to the immigration service Immigration system. Until the coronavirus pandemic in January 2020, around 81 percent of immigrants imprisoned in ICE custody were in for-profit prisons. according to an ACLU report.

Progressive groups have long struggled against the use of private facilities, arguing that the businesses they operate can shirk accountability and leave immigrants in dire and deteriorating conditions. You have asked the Department of Homeland Security to terminate contracts with private companies. Top progressive lawmakers support their appeal.

“This is a great development and an important step,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted after Biden signed the executive order in private prisons. But she added, “More needs to be done to end the for-profit incarceration of people in the United States. We must include ending the incarceration of for-profit immigrants and investigate the use of for-profit services that include families of those in public prisons Put prisoners under pressure. “

The question of the exit from for-profit institutions for the detention of migrants was raised at the end of the administration of former President Barack Obama. In his final months in office, Obama directed the Homeland Security Advisory Board to investigate ICE’s use of privately owned prisons and “evaluate whether this practice should be eliminated.” The subcommittee responsible for the two-month study finally concluded in December 2016 by majority vote “That a measured but deliberate departure from the private prison model is justified” – a move that activists for immigration rights had hoped for the next democratic government.

The report also stated that ICE should seek ways to “reduce reliance on detention in county jails”.

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