Colorlines on How Immigration Reform Could Expand Incarceration of Immigrants


With immigration reform discussions heating up in Congress, reports on the impacts of criminalization and harsh immigration enforcement on the prison population. Seth Freed Wessler’s article explains, “Though a large-scale legalization of undocumented immigrants would seem on its face to render detention facilities obsolete, efforts are already underway to keep them growing.”

Adding to recent information released in a report on enforcement by the Migration Policy Institute that showed that the nearly $18 billion spent on immigration enforcement is more than all other law enforcement agencies combined, Wessler reports, “In 2012, the federal government spent over $2 billion on detention operations, a nearly 150 percent increase from just seven years ago. And the two leading private detention companies, Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group, together netted about $425 million in revenues from their ICE contracts. The industry spends millions lobbying Congress.”

The article also highlights the work of advocates to combat increasing criminalization and incarceration of immigrants, and notes a recent statement by four Senate Judiciary Committee members who affirm that immigration laws “should be grounded in civil and human rights and ensure due process, equal treatment, and fairness.”

Read the article: How Immigration Reform Could Expand Incarceration of Immigrants

Image credit: Colorlines Infographic: How Millions Could Get Cut Out of Immigration Reform