WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) today sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson calling for a moratorium on for-profit detention centers and transparency in the upcoming review by a subcommittee of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) over Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) reliance on for-profit immigrant detention centers.
“I am glad that an HSAC subcommittee is finally reviewing ICE’s reliance on for-profit detention centers, but the credibility of the review depends entirely on its transparency and objectivity,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Our nation’s values hang in the balance of their findings. We cannot afford for this process to be undermined by an opaque investigation or by the influence of people who are financially invested in the outcome. Furthermore, the very fact that the policy is under review should mean a total moratorium on new contracts until the results are known.”
“It’s long past time that United States stopped using private corporations to run immigration detention facilities across the United States,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “These private corporations profit from millions of taxpayer dollars while allowing inhuman conditions to persist including severe overcrowding including of women and children. Many of those detained are refugees fleeing horrific violence. I was pleased when the Department of Homeland Security announced a review of private immigration facilities in August, but I strongly urge them to shut them down entirely and to follow the lead of the Department of Justice who ended their contracts with private prisons. That is why I am proud to stand with Representative Raul Grijalva and Senator Bernie Sanders in leading the fight to shut these detention facilities down once and for all.”
The full text of the letter is available here.