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Building More Prisons Won't Solve Our Immigration Detention Crisis

ICE claims that these new facilities will replace existing beds in problematic facilities, yet no commitment has been made to close a single bed in any location.

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Through its Dignity, Not Detention campaign, Detention Watch Network, a national coalition working to reform the immigration detention and deportation system, has called on the Obama Administration to reduce the number of detention beds; use secure release options as a meaningful alternative to detention; restore due process to immigration laws so that every person receives a fair day in court; and end expansion of enforcement programs that contribute to the growth of the detention system.

As Americans, we have a responsibility to uphold our core values: dignity, human rights, and due process of law -- principles that are fundamental to any democracy. All people, regardless of race or country of origin, deserve fair and equal treatment by the government. Yet the government has created an immigration enforcement system that is founded on fear, denial of due process, and the systematic violation of basic human rights. It is time to reduce our dependence on detention and begin creating a more humane system consistent with our values.

Andrea Black is the coordinator of the Detention Watch Network

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