02 Dec

CCR: Detention Watch Network


Detention Watch Network (DWN) v. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


Date Filed:

November 25, 2013

Current Status

On November 28, 2016, CCR and DWN filed our motion to dismiss the appeal of private prison contractors GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America. We have also appealed the district court’s decision to allow the contractors to intervene.

Document productions by both ICE and DHS continue on a monthly basis.


Seton Hall Law Clinic


Detention Watch Network

In November 2013, the Detention Watch Network (DWN) and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for information and documents pertaining to the so-called “detention bed quota,” also known as the “detention bed mandate.” When the agencies failed to comply, CCR filed suit against them. This work is part of  CCR’s support of grassroots immigrants’ rights groups fighting injustice in immigration policing and enforcement, as well as CCR’s long history of work around detention and mass incarceration.

Since 2009, appropriations bills passed by the U.S. Congress have required the funding of 34,000 immigration detention beds per day. DHS and ICE have interpreted this funding provision as a requirement that those beds be filled at all times, through the use of local jails and correctional facilities as well as private, for-profit correctional corporations with enormous lobbying power, resulting in a quota for detainees that has no parallel or precedent in the U.S. criminal justice system.

The public has a right to understand the motives of government officials and agencies regarding this policy that devastates families and immigrant communities. CCR and DWN hope to obtain information that gives the public a better understanding of the detention bed quota, the decision-making surrounding the quota, and its impact on detention policy and detention contracting decisions. This information will enable the public, advocates, and policy-makers to engage in an important on-going policy debate.

What To Do:

The U.S. government has a long history of violating the civil and human rights of immigrants who often lack political power and access to justice. From our early support of the Sanctuary Movement and our representation of HIV-positive Haitians held in Guantánamo to our legal challenges to warrantless home raids in Latino communities and the religious profiling and illegal detention of Muslim, South Asian, and Arab immigrants following 9/11, the Center has fought to defend the rights of vulnerable immigrants and empower their communities. In our current litigation and advocacy, we challenge the religious profiling and illegal detention of Muslim, South Asian, and Arab immigrants; provide direct legal support to activists; and bring to light the expansion of immigration enforcement and privatized detention as key features of mass incarceration. Through Freedom of Information Act requests and litigation, CCR has bolstered efforts by grassroots immigrant rights groups to force government transparency about policies like Secure Communities, the detention bed quota, and raid operations.



Case Files:

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