For the first time in our nation's history, the United States government is detaining over 50,000 people it claims to be undocumented immigrants in jails, prisons, and makeshift detention camps across America.
SCOOP: ICE is now holding 50,000 people in immigration detention. Notice that’s 4000+ more than the shutdown bill funded (and that ICE was already holding thousands more than the shutdown bill figure when the deal was struck). https://t.co/YMvLM6vgIf
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) March 8, 2019
From reporting by Spencer Ackerman at The Daily Beast:
According to a figure provided to Capitol Hill and made available to The Daily Beast, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has set a new all-time record – the latest in its string of broken records of immigrants detained – is 50,049 people as of Wednesday, Mar. 6. The figure includes both single adults and whole families behind bars.
It’s an increase of approximately 2,000 people in the month-plus since Jan. 30, when ICE, it previously told The Daily Beast, was detaining 48,088 people. And it’s just another 2,000 people shy of the 52,000-person daily detentions ICE is asking Congress to fund in its next budget.
Asked what accounts for the increase, ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett said in a statement: “ICE makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy, considering the merits and factors of each case while adhering to current agency priorities, guidelines and legal mandates. Ensuring there are sufficient beds available to meet the current demand for detention space is crucial to the success of ICE’s overall mission.”
It isn’t clear where ICE would have found the money for the increase. A year ago, when passing ICE’s most recent budget, legislators explicitly instructed the interior-immigration agency to cap detentions at 40,520. Instead, by the summer ICE had surpassed that total, leading its Department of Homeland Security parent to raid its other accounts, including FEMA, to float ICE. A Senate appropriator – the last sort of person an executive agency wishes to anger come budget season – called ICE out for continuing a policy of “maximum cruelty.”
Read the rest here: ICE Is Detaining 50,000 People, a New All-Time High [daily beast].
Related observations from Twitter, below.
These disturbing, authoritarian practices are what we’re funding with every dollar given to DHS & ICE with 0 accountability ?? https://t.co/iKM6sVVOcr
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 7, 2019
But don't worry, they will totally lower these numbers b/c of the approps deal. SMDH.
— Philip Wolgin (@pwolgin) March 8, 2019