May 29, 2012
By Azadeh Shahshahani
Atlanta, GA - Over the past decade, there has been an alarming increase in the use of immigration detention in the United States. From 2001 to 2010, the number of immigrants held in immigration detention each year nearly doubled from 209,000 per year to over 363,000.
The increasing use of immigration detention is an unnecessary drain on government resources and taxpayer dollars. In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintained a record-high daily detention capacity of 34,000 beds, costing taxpayers $2bn. As of November 2011, the US government spent approximately $166 per day to hold one immigrant in detention. This is 18 times greater than the $8.88 per day it costs for more efficient, highly effective, and humane alternatives to detention.
The for-profit prison industry is the main beneficiary of the ever-expanding, unregulated immigration system in the US. Since 2001, private corporations have gained increasing control over immigration detention facilities in the US and continue to bring in record profits.
May 16, 2012
Findings raise serious concerns about violations of detainees’ human and constitutional rights
ATLANTA – The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Georgia today released a comprehensive report on conditions of detention for immigrants in Georgia titled: “Prisoners of Profit: Immigrants and Detention in Georgia.” The report covers the four immigration detention facilities in Georgia, which include the largest immigration detention center in the country, the Stewart Detention Center, as well as the North Georgia Detention Center, Irwin County Detention Center, and Atlanta City Detention Center. Three of the facilities are operated by corporations.
For purposes of this documentation project, the ACLU of Georgia interviewed 68 individuals who were detained in Georgia immigration detention facilities, as well as detainees’ family members and immigration attorneys. The ACLU of Georgia also toured detention centers in Georgia and reviewed documents obtained from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other governmental agencies.