Detention Watch Network calls on DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to declare a moratorium on immigration detention expansion

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Yesterday Detention Watch Network (DWN) and 229 other organizations sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson regarding the unprecedented number of people in immigration detention. DWN’s Co-director, Silky Shah urges Secretary Johnson to immediately halt the expansion of the detention system:

“DWN calls on Secretary Jeh Johnson to immediately declare a moratorium on the expansion of immigration detention, which has reached a historic high. Skyrocketing detention numbers are exacerbating the well documented abuse and mismanagement that plagues the detention system, as a rising number of asylum seekers are being put behind bars.

Yesterday Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), newly rebranded as “CoreCivic,” announced that it entered into an agreement with Cibola County, New Mexico and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain up to 1,116 people at the Cibola County Corrections Center. In August the Department of Justice (DOJ) ended the contract with CCA just before it announced that all private prison contracts with the Bureau of Prisons would be terminated and phased out. Disregarding these developments, ICE has resurrected the Cibola facility despite the fact that it was slated to be shuttered and also despite the fact that DHS is currently investigating the use of private prisons in ICE detention.

We urge Secretary Johnson to end ICE’s reckless expansion and impose a moratorium on new contracts. He must act immediately to ensure the integrity of the Homeland Security Advisory Council investigation. If Secretary Johnson does not intervene, it will be a clear indication of how DHS will regard the forthcoming recommendations of the investigation, and will ultimately call into question the validity of the investigation itself.”


Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level to end immigration detention. Follow @DetentionWatch.