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

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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.

DWN applauds moratorium on deportations, must begin dismantling the detention system

January 21, 2021

Washington, DC — In response to President Biden’s memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct a review of policies and practices concerning immigration enforcement which includes interim enforcement priorities and a 100-day moratorium on deportations, Silky Shah, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network offered the following statement: 

Today we have the lowest number of people in immigration detention in over 20 years. On day one of the Biden Administration, this number must only trend down

January 19, 2021

Washington, DC — Right now there are 15,415 people in immigration detention — the lowest number since 1999 when there were 17,772 people. However, this number does not reflect immigrant rights advocates’ resolute demands to free all people from detention, nor public outcry over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s unjust and fundamentally flawed system.