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S.2849 / H.R.5820 - Detention Oversight Not Expansion (DONE) Act

To prohibit the expansion of immigration detention facilities, to improve the oversight of such facilities, and for other purposes.

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe immigration and ICE detention centers not only need congressional oversight, but any federal funds being used for construction or expansion of new facilities should be made unavailable. Detention beds should be decreased by using alternatives that are less costly to the taxpayer.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that protecting the border requires the use of more facilities across the country. These facilities should run independent from Congress.

The Detention Oversight Not Expansion (DONE) Act would increase oversight of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, and halt funds for construction or expansion of new facilities.

The legislation would require the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit a report to Congress that includes a plan to decrease the number of detention beds by 50% by using alternatives to detention that are less costly to the taxpayer, requiring the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) to conduct and report unannounced inspections of all immigration detention facilities ensuring compliance with national standards, focusing on the health, safety, and care of detainees, especially as it relates to pregnant women. The DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties would also conduct investigations, and submit a report to Congress.

The bill mandates that facility contracts be terminated for facilities receiving less than adequate ratings in the two most recent inspections, audits, or investigations conducted by DHS OIG.

President Trump's 2019 budget requests $2.7 billion for detention beds, indicating an intent to increase the capacity of detention centers across the country.

The DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has determined that ICE consistently undermines the rights of detainees, failing to treat them humanely and failing to provide a safe and healthy environment, often times ending in sexual harassment, medical negligence, failure to access a lawyer, or even death.

The legislation "one pager" by Sen. Kamala Harris states that:
- "between FY12 and March 2018, ICE received 1,448 allegations of sexual abuse in detention facilities. Only a small percent of these claims have been investigated by DHS OIG.";
- "While in ICE custody, detainees regularly receive substandard care. Pregnant women in particular receive insufficient medical attention while in custody, resulting in dehydration and even miscarriages.";
- "Detainees often struggle to secure representation due to language barriers, wait times in detention facilities, and distance between detention facilities and government provided aid, all of which raise serious due process concerns.";
- "There have been over 170 reported deaths in ICE custody since 2003."

“ICE’s indiscriminate approach to immigration enforcement continues to sow fear and anxiety in communities across the nation and strict oversight is long overdue,” said Senator Harris, sponsor of the bill. "It’s time to end the expansion of these facilities that divert these resources to address true public safety threats.”

“Even though the U.S. already houses the largest immigrant detention system in the world, the Trump Administration wants more detention beds without any oversight,” said Representative Jayapal. “The countless number of horrific assaults, senseless abuses and needless deaths of immigrants in detention prove that ICE isn’t able to police itself. Our bill demands a higher accountability of ICE and a stop to detention expansion because our nation doesn’t need more violence and further militarization – what we need is comprehensive and humane reform and real accountability.”

“Time and time again, ICE has proven itself incapable of comporting with basic civil and human rights—especially when it comes to overseeing its massive immigration detention infrastructure,” said Madhuri Grewal, Federal Immigration Policy Counsel for the ACLU. “Through our litigation, advocacy, and reporting, the ACLU has consistently found ICE to flaunt its own minimal detention standards and continually detain immigrants who are pregnant and asylum seekers, have mental disabilities, and other vulnerable populations—often in facilities operated by private prison companies. Even worse, ICE is charged with self-monitoring—a process that has allowed the agency to ignore or dismiss egregious violations and contributed to multiple deaths in detention. These horrific conditions, in combination with the massive rise in ICE detention since the late 1990s, have led to an agency that needs serious systematic change.”

President Trump argues that parents are sending the children on a dangerous and illegal trip. He wants Congress to change the laws on immigration instead.


Sponsored by: Sen. Harris, Kamala D. [D-CA].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 0 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.


Sponsored by: Rep. Jayapal, Pramila [D-WA-7].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 0 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.

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