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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    ICE: Detention overhaul won't lead to fewer beds

    ICE: Detention overhaul won't lead to fewer beds

    By MICHELLE ROBERTS, The Associated Press
    3:58 p.m. August 12, 2009

    SAN ANTONIO — A planned overhaul of the immigration detention system might result in fewer concrete cells and lower fences – but it won't mean more releases, even with electronic ankle monitors, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said Wednesday.

    Morton announced last week that his agency would re-evaluate the scattered, 33,400-bed system that holds immigrants awaiting court hearings or deportation. He said it would seek to treat nonviolent people who aren't a flight risk differently from those with felony convictions facing mandatory detention and deportation.

    That raised hopes – and worries – that ICE might reduce the number of incarcerated immigrants by counting electronic ankle-monitoring, house arrest or some other non-institutional confinement as "detention."

    But Morton told The Associated Press on Wednesday that "I don't think the overall number of detention beds will decrease significantly. It will remain roughly the same."

    The agency will still look at whether alternatives, like electronic monitoring, can be used to ensure immigrants attend court hearings and comply with deportation orders – but will not use them to replace the housing of substantial numbers of people in government-funded facilities, he said.

    "That's incredibly disappointing," said Andrea Black, coordinator for Detention Watch Network, which represents immigrant advocacy groups. "The changes aren't going to address the fundamental problem, which is the overemphasis on the use of detention."

    Currently, most detained immigrants, including elderly women, families and asylum seekers, are held in jail-style facilities converted or contracted for ICE use.

    Morton said such space will still be appropriate for immigrants convicted of serious crimes or others deemed to be dangerous, but many people could be held in facilities that are more like dormitories, with lower exterior fences and fewer restrictions inside.

    Some existing ICE facilities could be converted, or new structures specifically designed for ICE may be sought, he said. The overhaul is expected to take several years.

    "We detain a whole host of people and they often have different characteristics, and our system needs to recognize that," Morton said.

    ICE detainees face only civil immigration proceedings, not criminal charges, and Morton said the agency needs to recognize its power to hold people is civil in nature – a distinction that immigrant advocates have applauded.
    Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said his group, which supports lower immigration, was concerned about Morton's announcement last week. It wants to ensure that previous policies allowing immigrants released with an order to appear in court – known as "catch and release" rules – aren't reinstated. Such policies allowed most immigrants to ignore court hearings or deportation, he said.

    "Everyone concedes that catch-and-release was a complete failure and waste of resources," he said.

    But he said the group does not oppose the use of less jail-like conditions to detain immigrants.

    "Our position is that people ought to be held in appropriate facilities, especially where families are concerned. If they have those facilities available, by all means, they should be using them," Mehlman said.
    Morton said last week that the much-derided T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center in Taylor, Texas, would be emptied of families and converted to a women's facility. The use of the former prison to hold families with young children outraged immigrant advocates, and Black said she and others were pleased Morton decided to end the practice.

    Morton said Wednesday that families were already being moved out of the facility, and he expects everyone to be out in the next several months "at the most."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Move them to detention camps!
    "The changes aren't going to address the fundamental problem, which is the overemphasis on the use of detention."
    Now what should we do with lawbreakers, being here illegally, working with stolen documents and dropping anchor babies all over the place, driving without licenses and insurance, perhaps smuggling other illegals and drugs, or smuggling out cash and weapons? Shoud we let them go on their merry way?
    The fundamental problem is lax border security, not detention, dipso.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member SOSADFORUS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    "The changes aren't going to address the fundamental problem, which is the overemphasis on the use of detention."
    Then don't hold them just DEPORT THEM!! it will save us money.

    Actually they have no civil rights under the U.S. Constitution, but some believe we have to live by U.N. Law, the U.N. has usurped our sovereignty in this issue as a nation.

    It should be a felony anyway instead of a civil offence which is still a criminal offence...incase Janet didn't get it !!
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