San Bernardino, CA – Since Day 1, the Biden-Harris administration has begun dismantling some of the dangerous precedents that exist in US immigration policy. From proposing the framework for seemingly progressive legislation, halting border construction, and addressing the blatant xenophobia that emboldened the prison corporations and zealous enforcement officers throughout the last 4 years of the Trump administration. The bill rightfully includes giving millions of undocumented immigrants a roadmap to citizenship, permanent protections for TPS and DACA recipients, connects the needs of refugees and asylum seekers, the root causes of migration, and provide new funds to community-based organizations that provide necessary services.
Regardless, this is just a first step and it is simply not enough. There is nothing, or very little, that this new bill speaks to the abolition of for-profit immigrant detention facilities and nothing to hold accountable for the numerous abuses committed by both GEO, ICE, and their rogue agents. We cannot accept any future action that would allow them to continue to run around with impunity.
Furthermore, then-candidate Joe Biden stated during his campaign that for-profit private entities should not be used for immigration detention. His recent executive order ending federal contracts for prisons leaves behind immigrant detention facilities, where the majority of people are held. No one is safe in ICE jails. As immigrants continue to be imprisoned and treated inhumanely, they will continue to suffer.
The Biden-Harris website indicates the following:
Biden will end the federal government’s use of private prisons, building off an Obama-Biden Administration’s policy rescinded by the Trump Administration. And, he will make clear that the federal government should not use private facilities for any detention, including the detention of undocumented immigrants. Biden will also make eliminating private prisons and all other methods of profiteering off of incarceration – including diversion programs, commercial bail, and electronic monitoring – a requirement for his new state and local prevention grant program. Finally, Biden will support the passage of legislation to crack down on the practice of private companies charging incarcerated individuals and their families outrageously high fees to make calls.
President Joe Biden must stop funding the inhumane caging of humans for profit and release all immigrants who are in detention centers, and shut down all detention centers that have been notorious for all the mistreatment, abuse, and negligence. Federal contracts to private immigrant detention facilities must end, transfers need to be halted, and ICE must stop terrorizing immigration communities. President Biden has expressed that he will do what he can to help immigrants, now we are waiting for his actions to match his promises. There should no more caged lives in these deadly ICE detention centers.
Biden faces immense opposition, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit to prevent the deportation moratorium from going into effect. Disturbingly a judge granted the block for 14 days. The Trump administration’s agents are still around, we cannot allow another moment to go by without taking swift and direct action. Still, we demand nothing less than strong, clear, and unquestionable actions that aim at a just closure of immigrant detention facilities.