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DWN Statement: Obama Budget Harms Immigrants by Funding Increased Detentions and Monitoring #EndtheQuota #ExposeandClose

February 3, 2015


For Immediate Release: February 3, 2015

Contact: Molly Haigh,

Analysis: Obama Budget Harms Immigrants by Funding Increased Detentions and Monitoring

WASHINGTON, DC — The White House announced it’s proposed budget for the 2016 financial year. In response, the Detention Watch Network released the following analysis of how the budget could affect detention levels in the coming year.

The new White House Budget would:

  • Increase funding for immigrant detention to $2.4 billion, up from $2.2 billion in FY2014.
  • Bring the total number of detention beds to 34,040 – 40 beds above the congressionally-mandated detention bed quota.
  • Increase funding for ICE Custody Operations by $435.392 million, including 2,760 family detention beds and a 741 bed increase in adult detention. This increase in detention is alarming given the President’s executive action, which should instead result in reduced detention numbers.
  • Provide $122.5 million in funding for “Alternatives to Detention,” ATD, increasing by 29,807 the number of people under this program. Rather than using ATD to decrease the number of people in detention, this budget instead supplements immigrant detention by expanding the system of custody and surveillance to those who would otherwise have been released.

Statement from Detention Watch Network Co-Director, Silky Shah:

“We are disappointed to see the Obama Administration doubling down on their mass detention policies for immigrants. President Obama’s funding request for an arbitrary and predetermined number of detention beds, many to be filled by families and children, reminds us just how morally and fiscally ruinous this system is.

No one should be held behind bars to meet an arbitrary quota set in Washington by politicians– and President Obama should be ashamed of his role in this ongoing tragedy.”

For interviews with the Detention Watch Network in English or Spanish, please contact Molly Haigh at 907-750-1999 or


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The Detention Watch Network works through the collective strength and diversity of its members to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

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