Indian American women lawmakers introduce a new bill to monitor the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in the United States

Indian American women lawmakers introduce a new bill to monitor the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in the United States

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WASHINGTON(TIP): Indian American women lawmakers Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Kamala Harris on May 15thintroduced
 a new bill titled Detention Oversight Not Expansion (DONE) Act to 
monitor the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers 
in the United States.

The bill is meant to keep a close watch 
of the ICE detention centers and proposes to halt the funding for any 
new construction, and expansion of such facilities.

According to the two Democrats, over the
 last two decades, the number of non-citizens held at ICE detention 
centers in the United States has increased by 400 percent and the 
inmates of these centers include women, children and pregnant women.

The bill’s text also says that these 
inmates are often mistreated by the ICE agents and are forced to live in
 deplorable conditions, in violation of their basic rights.

“Even though the U.S. already houses the largest immigrant detention system in the world, the Trump Administration wants more detention beds without any oversight,” said Jayapal in an official release posted on her website.

“The countless number of horrific 
assaults, senseless abuses and needless deaths of immigrants in 
detention prove that ICE isn’t able to police itself. Our bill demands a
 higher accountability of ICE and a stop to detention expansion because 
our nation doesn’t need more violence and further militarization – what 
we need is comprehensive and humane reform and real accountability,” she

“ICE’s indiscriminate approach to 
immigration enforcement continues to sow fear and anxiety in communities
 across the nation and strict oversight is long overdue,” said Harris.

“It is unconscionable to subject 
detainees to inhumane conditions that include cases of unchecked sexual 
abuse, outright medical negligence, lack of access to counsel, and in 
some cases, even death. It’s time to end the expansion of these 
facilities that divert these resources to address true public safety 
threats,” she added.

The new bill proposed by Jayapal and 
Harris require the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to 
submit a report to Congress that includes a plan to decrease the number 
of detention beds by 50 percent of the number available as of the date 
of the enactment of this Act by using alternatives to detention that are
 less costly to the taxpayer and have been shown to be successful.

It also proposes restoring and expanding the Family Case Management Program and calls for DHS
 Office of Inspector General to conduct unannounced inspections of all 
immigration detention facilities to ensure compliance with national 
standards, focusing on the health, safety and care of detainees, 
especially as it relates to pregnant women. The DHS OIG will be required
 to submit a report of its findings to Congress.


Jayapal and Harris also recommend the 
DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to conduct similar 
investigations and submit a report of its findings to Congress.


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