Action Alert: End the Bed Quota for ICE Detention Centers

June 30, 2014

“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.”
Acts 2: 1-4

Dear Columban Advocates,

As I reflect on the scripture of Pentacost, I am reminded that we have a moral obligation to ensure the safety and well being of others.

In the coming weeks, Congress will vote on the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which determines the budget for immigration detention facilities for the fiscal year 2015. Representatives Deutch and Foster will be presenting an amendment to eliminate the “bed quota” that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must fulfill per year as established by Congress.

The mandate obligates ICE to keep 34,000 beds in immigration detention centers full at all times. The population of which include mothers, fathers, children, and many vulnerable groups. These facilities are not only costly for the government to run, but also have a hard time keeping up with the influx of immigrants entering detention. As a result, conditions in ICE detention centers are horrifying and uninhabitable.

In honor of the season of Pentecost, let us lift up our faithful voices to our elected officials in an effort to pass the Deutch-Foster Amendment to end a harmful policy that perpetuates suffering for thousands of immigrants.

Urge them to vote YES on the Deutch-Foster Amendment in an effort to end the bed quota. You can personalize this letter to do so. Thank you for your continued advocacy for immigrants seeking fullness of life.

The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach is a member of Justice for Immigrants, a Catholic coalition initiated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.