Trump Previewed Two Devastating Shifts: The Unraveling of the Asylum System and a Massive Ramp Up of Indefinite Immigration Detention in the Form of Tent Cities

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Washington, DC — In response to Trump’s hate-filled speech today on immigration, Silky Shah, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network issued the following statement:

“Today, Trump furthered his manufactured crisis at the border narrative driven by white nationalism and race based fear-mongering. In his speech, Trump previewed two devastating shifts: the unraveling of the asylum system and a massive ramp up of indefinite immigration detention in the form of tent cities.

The scope of Trump’s immigrant detention system is already unprecedented. With nearly 44,000 immigrants being held daily in a network of over 220 detention centers across the country, the immigration detention system has already rapidly metastasized with deadly consequences.

By adding massive detention camps made up of tents to a sprawling immigration detention system plagued with abuse and run by the notorious Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Trump is ensuring further loss of life, human rights violations and the separation of families.

In order to fulfill Trump’s nightmare tent city proposal to expand deadly immigration detention and circumvent the congressional appropriations process, ICE will, yet again, take money from another government agency, this time the Department of Defense. If realized, this will be another example of the manipulation of ICE’s budget to bankroll Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.

Trump’s use of criminalizing language and incarceration is a tactic to vilify immigrant communities and galvanize white supremacists. We will not fall for the attempt to divide us — everyone who cares about dignity and freedom must defend and uphold these core democratic values.”


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. Visit