Biden Planning Major Change For Immigrant Detention Centers

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

( – The Biden administration is making important changes to federal immigration detention and enforcement to cut costs and expand detention capacity. These moves are aligned with its new asylum policy. On Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the closure of the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley. Advocates have criticized these cost-cutting measures arguing that some of the measures are necessary for connecting legal representation with the immigrants. 

It is not yet clear whether this move stems from the need for expanding border detention drives. However, advocates have claimed that the overall shift of the administration in their immigration policy is politically motivated ahead of the 2024 presidential election. 

President Biden has been pushing for greater border controls over the last few months as he has received a lot of criticism from both the left and Republicans over the open border. The administration has also been looking at expanding the legal pathways; however, these moves have been described as either insufficient or illegal. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pointed out that, due to operational constraints, there are currently no plans to expand these pathways further. 

Acting ICE Director Patrick Lechleitner also pointed out that the growing non-detained docket is hard to handle as around 7.5 million people are on it. 

Advocates have claimed that expanding immigration enforcement could harm immigrant communities while also causing a lot of costs to taxpayers. 

Community organizer Maru Mora-Villalpando and other advocates have pushed against ICE for requesting additional funds while dropping the quality of the conditions in detention facilities.

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