End the Quota

The U.S. government arbitrarily detains immigrants across the country with the enforcement of immigration detention bed quotas that operate on a national and local level, resulting in a financial market where people's lives are being treated as profit. Immigration detention quotas not only impact the hundreds and thousands of immigrants that go through the detention system each year, but also the families and communities that have been torn apart due to immigration detention. 

Local Immigration Detention Bed Quotas

New Report: Banking on Detention: Local Lockup Quotas & the Immigrant Dragnet

Local “lockup” quotas, referred to within contracts as “guaranteed minimums,” are contractual provisions with private contractors or sub-contractors that obligate ICE to pay for a minimum number of immigration detention beds at certain facilities.

These local quotas reveal a much more sprawling for-profit detention industry than previously explored, with companies vying for guaranteed minimum contracts for beds, transit, security, and food.

By requiring ICE to fill a certain number of detention beds on a daily basis at specific facilities, the U.S. government is allowing private interests a hand in setting policy on immigration enforcement and detention, while at the same time padding their bottom line.

National Detention Bed Quota

Congressional appropriations language on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) detention budget states that "funding made available under this heading shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds." The immigration detention bed quota requires ICE to lock-up an average of 34,000 immigrants in detention at any given time - close to half a million immigrants annually - in a network of over 250 county and state jails, private prisons and federal facilities.

Five things you can do NOW to help End The Quota:

1 Watch the recording of the 34,000 immigrant detention quota webinar and power point presentation.

2 Learn about the detention bed quota and hold educational events, community forums or teach-ins about the immigration detention system and the impact of the 34,000 quota on our communities.  

3 Call and/or visit your members of Congress and ask them to eliminate the immigration detention bed quota from the FY 2016 appropriations bill.

4 Organize an action, or vigil outside a detention center, ICE office or congressional member’s office. Contact amartinez [at] detentionwatchnetwork [dot] org for support.

5 Write an op-ed or letter to the editor about the impact of the quota in your community.


Advocacy Materials

Communications Materials

Educational Materials 

Schedule a meeting with your Senators and Representative

End The Quota legislative toolkit, which includes how to set-up a meeting with your member of Congress and tips and talking points on the bed quota.

To leave behind after your meetings with Members of Congress:

  1. Bed Quota 101
  2. One pager immigration detention backgrounder
  3. Factsheet: Bed Quota Impact on Women and Families
  4. The Private Prison Industry and the Immigrant Detention Quota

Tell us how it went. We need your help in tracking which Members of Congress will help us end the quota!

Please contact us at campaign [at] detentionwatchnetwork [dot] org for advocacy support.

immigration_detention_backgrounder.pdf419.42 KB
nijc_-_quota_impact_on_women_families.pdf291.74 KB
bed_quota_101.pdf123.7 KB
private_prison_bed_quota_1-pager.pdf405.74 KB
final_infograph_11_by_17_jpdf.pdf4.61 MB
final_infograph_11_by_17_jpeg.jpg4.37 MB
end_the_quota_webinar_final.pdf2.77 MB
dwn_guide_to_meeting_with_your_representative.pdf118.91 KB
dwn_bed_quota_backgrounder_and_talking_points.pdf123.34 KB
dwn_banking_on_detention_executive_summary.pdf348.74 KB
las_cuotas_carcelarias_locales_dwn.pdf596.37 KB
resumen_ejecutivo_las_cuotas_carcelarias_locales_dwn.pdf350.66 KB