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New ICE Policy Caves to Radical Anti-Immigrant Lawmakers, Needlessly Restricts Release from Detention

March 19, 2015



Thursday, 19 March 2015


Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 :


DWN: “New ICE Policy Caves to Radical Anti-Immigrant Lawmakers, Needlessly Restricts Release from Detention”

Detention Watch Network Calls on President Obama to Stop ICE’s Escalation of War on Immigrants


Statement from Silky Shah, co-director of Detention Watch Network, in reaction to ICE’s announcement that it would dramatically ramp up oversight and release procedures for immigrants with criminal convictions:

This announcement is not the result of reasoned policy analysis. Rather it was released the night before new ICE Director Sarah Saldaña was to testify before Congress and represents a preemptive surrender to its most zealously anti-immigrant members. Decisions on immigration policy and the detention of immigrants should never be based on crude political calculations.

During the hearing, lawmakers repeatedly mischaracterized all people in detention with criminal convictions as undocumented and as violent offenders. This ignores the reality that many long-term legal permanent residents are also detained and further that the proportion of people deported whose most serious crime is a non-violent immigration offense or traffic violation has risen significantly over the last six years.

For the minority of people in detention who have past violent convictions, the prevalent anti-immigrant discourse constantly obscures the fact that they’ve already paid their debt to society by serving out their prison terms. We believe that even immigrants who have committed violent offenses shouldn’t be subject to double jeopardy by being incarcerated again for the same offense.

The list of people with no hope of release in US detention centers is growing at an alarming rate: immigrant families, asylum-seekers, and now individuals with prior criminal convictions. Detention, with no alternatives or way out, for such a huge number of people who pose no safety risk to their communities is an outrageous violation of human rights and an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars.

It is increasingly disheartening that the White House, and President Obama continue to pursue and double-down on a failed, inhumane and increasingly punitive response to immigrants and their families living and working in the US.”


For interviews, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at

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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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