ICE to Open New Family Detention Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2014

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, NILC, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

Plans To Open Massive Family Detention Facility Show Anything But Compassion

National Immigration Law Center decries expansion of family detention in Texas

WASHINGTON — Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities announced today that they intend to open a 2,400 bed immigrant detention facility designed to lock up mothers and their children. This facility would represent a dramatic increase in family detention as well as a reversal of the Obama administration’s earlier policies to avoid detaining children and families.

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. Hincapié visited the Artesia, NM, family detention facility in July 2014, where she interviewed women who had been detained with their children for several weeks. The Artesia detention facility was created earlier this year to house women and children fleeing violence in Central America.

“No child should be locked up behind barbed wire. No parent should have to live the nightmare of spending time with her daughter in ICE detention. Sadly, this practice will become more common for mothers and children fleeing violence in Central America, now that the government has announced it will dramatically increase the number of families they intend to put behind bars.

“Today’s news is merely the latest disappointing announcement from an administration that has promised to uphold basic rights, only to trample upon them when it is politically expedient to do so. As we have seen in the Artesia detention center, the physical and psychological damage children incur when they are jailed in this fashion is impossible to overstate. The scars will be long-lasting. To subject a greater number of children and their parents to similar detention standards and practices is, simply put, unconscionable and extremely costly.

“We will continue to advocate for due process rights of detained Central American women and children in our communities, with Congress, and, if necessary, in the court room.”

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