June 4, 2013
NIYA Applauds Deutch Amendment to House Appropriations Bill
Representative Deutch demonstrates his commitment to meaningful reform
NATIONAL—The National Immigrant Youth Alliance applauds the continued work of Representative Ted Deutch of Florida to fight against unjust enforcement. Today, we are calling on the House of Representatives to adopt his amendment to the House appropriations bill HR 2217 that would eliminate the detention bed space mandate.
Last fall, Rep. Deutch was the leader of twenty-six members of congress who called for a full review of Broward Transitional Center after we sent two of our activists to infiltrate the facility. Since then, Deutch has repeatedly called upon Immigration and Customs Enforcement to address human rights abuses inside detention centers. At the end of last year, Deutch sent another letter to ICE chastising it for its “excessive delay” in addressing the issues inside Broward Transitional Center. Today, Deutch demonstrates his continuing commitment to this issue by addressing it at its core: the reliance on private prisons and an effective quota on detainees to keep them occupied.
Private prisons make incredible amounts of money on immigration enforcement—Broward Transitional Center alone generates over $20 million annually for its owner, GEO Group, Inc. Nationally, ICE is required to keep 34,000 beds filled. By striking the mandatory language from the appropriations bill, ICE will not be pressured to keep detainees unjustly, in violations of their rights, or subjected to gross mistreatment. Also, taxpayers will not be forced to pay for these injustices.
We hope that all supporters of immigration reform rally behind this amendment. While the Senate process slows and the chances of a House bills appear increasingly dim, this amendment to appropriations is an opportunity to make a meaningful change right away.