Our latest press releases on important news and events relating to immigration detention in the United States

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Bill signed into law in Washington State will phase out private prisons. Groups call for immediate closure of the notorious Northwest Detention Center 

April 15, 2021

Seattle, WA  — Today, after years of sustained local activism led by immigrant rights groups in Washington including, La Resistencia and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Governor Inslee signed HB1090 into law that will ban the the operation of a private detention facility or prison by any person, business, state or local government entity. The bill will eventually close the state’s notorious Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), once the contract terminates, however advocates are demanding the facility be shut down immediately.

Local communities advance state legislation to reduce immigration detention, as Biden has yet to shut down ICE detention centers 

March 17, 2021

Washington, DC  — As calls are intensifying for the Biden administration to fulfill his campaign promise and address Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) deadly detention system, local communities are advancing legislation to take steps toward shutting down facilities and releasing people from ICE custody. Four bills in Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico and Washington State would significantly reduce the use of immigration detention.

Detention Watch Network Escalates Communities Not Cages Campaign to Shut Down 10 ICE Detention Centers

February 25, 2021

Washington, DC — Today Detention Watch Network (DWN) announced the “First Ten to Communities Not Cages'' campaign, demanding the shut down of 10 immigration detention facilities in the first year of the Biden administration. “First Ten'' is the next phase of DWN’s national Communities Not Cages Campaign to shut down Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers and stop the expansion and construction of new facilities.

First death in ICE custody under the Biden Administration

February 1, 2021

Lumpkin, Georgia — Immigrants’ rights organizations El Refugio, Georgia Detention Watch, Project South and Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) in Georgia and Detention Watch Network are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Felix Montes de Oca, 57, while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Stewart Detention Center. Montes died due to COVID-19 related complications.

217 Immigrant and Human Rights Groups Call on Biden Administration to Address the Spread of COVID-19 in Immigration Detention with the Immediate Release of People in ICE Custody

January 26, 2021

Washington, DC — Detention Watch Network and Freedom for Immigrants delivered a letter to the Biden-Harris administration on behalf of 215 immigrant and human rights groups demanding President Biden address the spread of COVID-19 inside immigration detention by releasing everyone within the administration’s first 100 days.

Encouraged by DOJ phasing out use of private prisons, now must extend cuts to  ICE detention centers

January 26, 2021

Washington, DC — In response to President Biden’s executive order on eliminating the use of private prisons, Silky Shah, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network offered the following statement: 

“We are encouraged that the Biden administration’s Department of Justice is prioritizing phasing out the use of private prisons  — a decision that was made too late in the Obama administration and was immediately reversed by Trump.