Democratic Senators Voice Deep Concerns with Expansion of Family Detention System

17 Oct 2014

A group of ten Democratic Senators sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security to express their concerns with the expansion of the family detention system. The Senators were especially concerned by the decision to build a large new immigration detention facility for women and children in Dilley, Texas. According to the Senators’ letter, “This decision threatens to make permanent a practice of presumptive detention for families and marks a reversal of this administration’s family detention policy. We fear that the result will be an ongoing detention of asylum-seeking women and children who have shown a credible fear of being returned to their home country and pose no flight risk or danger to the community.

The Dilley family detention center, a 2,400 bed facility – will be the largest immigration detention facility in the United States. According to the Senators, “mothers and their children who have fled violence in their home countries should not be treated like criminals.” Signatories include Senators Patrick Leahy, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Charles Schumer, Patty Murray, Richard Blumenthal, Robert Menendez, Michael Bennet, Mazie Hirono and Mark Udall.