WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today introduced legislation that bans private prisons, ends family detention, and removes Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) daily mandate to fill 34,000 beds with detainees. The bill, The Justice Is Not For Sale Act, also reinstates the federal parole system, requires ICE to improve monitoring of detention facilities, requires ICE to use Alternatives to Detention, and increases oversight to prevent companies from overcharging inmates and their families for services like banking and telephone calls.
Grijalva’s bill comes on the same day that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a scathing report calling for DHS to immediately release families from detention. After finding several DHS facilities non-compliant with federal mandates and agency policies pertaining to detainee treatment, the report recommends that Congress no longer fund family detention and reduce funding for immigration detention generally in favor of alternative options.
Congressman Grijalva is a prominent voice in the effort to end for-profit prison contracts and family detention in the United States. In June, he visited two facilities outside of San Antonio, Texas, and chronicled the experience in an op-ed. In July, he led the Congressional Progressive Caucus in hosting a forum on family detention that included two former detainees and a whistle blower testifying to horrible conditions and unethical practices she witnessed while working at a for-profit facility. In August, he also visited Eloy Detention Facility where multiple detainees have died under the custody of ICE.
Full text of The Justice Is Not For Sale Act is available here.
A fact sheet about The Justice Is Not For Sale Act is available here.