These aren’t just numbers. Rather, they are individual people whose lives are severely interrupted by detention. They include husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, children, legal residents, the elderly, asylum seekers, workers and employers, and people suffering from mental and physical illnesses.
For example, CCA (a private prison company operating detention centers) stated, “(o)ur growth is generally dependent upon our ability to obtain new contracts to develop and manage new correctional and detention facilities.” Much of the approximately $2.8 billion the U.S. government spends each year on detention ensures private profit without addressing community needs.
Mass immigration detention pulls families and loved ones apart, violates basic human rights and dignity, unravels the delicate fabric of our communities, and is far too costly (in both human and financial terms) to continue.
Did you know that that federal policy requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to maintain a certain number of spaces in immigration detention centers every single day? You may have heard of these spaces referred to as “detention quotas” or “bed quotas.