Immigrant mothers and their children are being detained under guaranteed minimum provisions, which assure fixed detainee quotas, effectively rendering immigrants a source of profit for private and public prison companies, according to the findings from a new report released this month by the Detention Watch Network (DWN) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).
“Our report exposes the extent to which local lockup quotas incentivize the incarceration of immigrants and fuel ICE to pursue punitive and unjust enforcement practices,” Silky Shah, Co-Director of Detention Watch Network said in a press release.
More Central American Families Detained at US Border Than 2015
The new documents reveal that guaranteed minimums account for at least 12,821 of the 34,000 beds funded by the detention bed quota, nearly 40 percent. Of these 12,821 beds, 93 percent exist in facilities that contract with private companies.
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The report shows the extent to which ICE grants financial benefits to private and public entities such as the GEO Group along with the public entity Berks Family Residential Center, through government contracts requiring ICE to pay for a set number of beds at detention facilities.
According to the investigation, which collected data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, guaranteed minimums are “even more widespread than previously reported, covering at least 24 detention facility contracts.”
Meanwhile, the report goes criticizes ICE for its failure to “provide information” regarding it’s lockup quota agreements with private and public detention facilities, which the two organization argue should be made public through the Freedom of Information Act.
“Almost all guaranteed minimums are found in facilities that contract with private prison companies, and ICE actively collaborates with these companies to keep details of their contracts secret,” said Ghita Schwarz, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights said in its report.
A congressional mandate calls on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to maintain an average of 34,000 people locked up at any given time.
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