Sending Office: Honorable Theodore E. Deutch
Last Call: Close of Business Today
Co-signers: Reps. Barragan, Castor, Castro, Cicilline, Clarke, Cohen, Correa, Cummings, Delaney, DeLauro,
DeSaulnier, Doggett, Ellison, Espaillat, Esty, Frankel, Gallego, Gomez, Al Green,
Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hastings, Himes, Jackson Lee, Jayapal, Kennedy, Khanna,
Krishnamoorthi, Lewis, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Lujan Grisham, McGovern, Moore,
Nadler, Norton, Pallone, Panetta, Pascrell, Perlmutter, Pingree, Raskin, Rosen, Sanchez,
Schakowsky, Scott (VA), Smith, Soto, Swalwell, Titus, Tonko, Torres, Vargas,
Veasey, Watson Coleman, Yarmuth
We write for your support in sending a letter to the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security Appropriations urging the elimination of the requirement that ICE maintain 34,000 immigrant detention beds from the FY2019 appropriations bill. This
requirement – also referred to as the detention bed mandate – has been interpreted as requiring ICE to maintain an average daily population of approximately 34,000 individuals in detention.
No other law enforcement agency has a quota on the number of people they must keep in jail each day. Moreover, this mandate is incredibly expensive, costing more than $2 billion per year on immigration detention, or about $5.05 million per day.
A single detention bed costs a little more than $159 per day. Alternatives to detention, including parole, supervised release, or other programs cost between 70 cents and $17 per day.
Our letter urges the Subcommittee to exclude the costly detention bed mandate from the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill for FY2019. If you have any questions or would like to sign onto the letter, please contact Joshua Lipman
in Congressman Ted Deutch’s office at
Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org or 5-3001, or Samantha Warren in Congressman Bill Foster’s office at
Samantha.email@example.com or 5-3515.
Theodore E. Deutch Bill Foster
Member of Congress Member of Congress
The Honorable John Carter The Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard
Chairman Ranking Member
House Subcommittee on House Subcommittee on
Homeland Security Appropriations Homeland Security Appropriations
B-307 Rayburn House Office Building 1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Carter and Ranking Member Roybal-Allard,
As the Subcommittee considers the Department of Homeland Security’s FY2019 Appropriations Bill, we write to urge the elimination of the requirement that ICE maintain 34,000 detention beds on a daily basis. This requirement, also referred to
as the detention bed mandate, has been interpreted as requiring ICE to maintain a yearly average daily population of approximately 34,000 individuals in detention.
The detention bed mandate is unprecedented. Indeed, no other law enforcement agency has a quota on the number of people they must keep in jail each day. Removing the mandate language from the appropriation’s bill would bring ICE in line with
the best practices of law enforcement agencies. These best practices focus on using detention beds based on actual need. The savings from removing the detention bed mandate would permit the Agency to focus limited resources on its many other responsibilities,
including investigating drug smuggling, human trafficking, and child pornography.
The detention bed mandate is costly. We spend more than $2 billion per year on immigration detention, or about $5.05 million per day. A single detention bed is approximately $159 per day. Mandating a specific number of detention beds prevents
ICE from pursuing less costly alternatives to detention, including parole, supervised release, and community-based programs. Alternatives to detention range in cost between 70 cents and $17 per day. Yet, the bed quota forces ICE to detain individuals, even
in instances where alternatives would be appropriate.
It is past time that Congress ends this wasteful detention bed quota. We therefore respectfully request that the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY2019 exclude the ICE immigration detention bed quota.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0