New Family Detention Facility Moves Enforcement in Wrong Direction

September 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) announced today that it plans to open a 2,400-bed facility in Dilley, Texas, to house families who have fled across the southwest border in recent months.

The facility would be run by a private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America.

The following is a response from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:

“If the administration has worked since 2009 to phase out family detention, it makes little sense to reverse course now. Financially and morally, family detention is a failed approach, and this is a step backward.

“Detaining mothers, teenagers and younger children together hurts families, tramples due process and is excessively costly. According to reports, this facility will cost $298 per person per day. That means the new facility could cost upwards of $261 million every year.

“ICE should rely on less costly, humane alternatives to detention. Such alternatives have proved effective and respect the dignity of mothers and children, many of whom have valid immigration claims. Their cases should be heard by immigration judges in a timely and fair fashion.”