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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator

The president asked for what in his budget?!

Here's the message we sent to our members. After you've read it, please add your voice.

An arbitrary quota keeps 34,000 immigrants in ICE detention every day

Tell President Obama to remove the quota from his budget

Dear Friend,

News flash: President Obama’s 2015 budget requests a wasteful and dangerous policy that indiscriminately jams immigrants into private prisons.

Immigrants who have committed no crimes or only minor crimes are being stuffed into prisons to meet an arbitrary immigrant body count quota passed by the House of Representatives in 2006. That means ICE has a sick incentive to rip immigrant families apart, profile Latinos in border communities, and give billions of dollars away to private prison corporations like GEO Group -- all for no good reason.1

President Obama could push back against this policy. Instead, his budget request legitimizes it. It’s one thing for GOP extremists to request a policy like this -- it’s another thing entirely when a President who claims to support our communities does.

Tell President Obama to remove the immigrant imprisonment quota from his FY2015 budget request and not to request this bad policy in the future.

Some people call it the “bed mandate.” We call it the immigrant imprisonment quota. Whatever you call it, it’s bad news -- so why does President Obama seem to support it?

The immigrant imprisonment quota is exactly what it sounds like: ICE is required to hold at least 34,000 immigrants each day in private detention centers. This quota is the main reason so many immigrants who haven’t committed any crimes are arrested and detained by ICE.

Putting someone in a private detention center costs $160 each day, or $2 billion each year -- a huge giveaway to private prison companies like GEO Group. Meanwhile, alternatives to incarceration cost as little as $17 per day, are effective, and they keep immigrant families together as they wait for due process.

Stopping Obama’s budget request is an important first step in eliminating this policy for good. And now that 65 members of the House of Representatives have sent the president a letter opposing it, there isn’t a better time to pressure Obama to do his part.2

Please ask President Obama to drop the immigrant imprisonment quota from all future budget requests to Congress.

Thanks and ¡adelante!
Arturo, Jesús, Erick, Erica and the rest of the Presente.org Team

P.S. Can you donate $5 to support our work? We rely on contributions from people like you to see campaigns like this through.

Sources:
1. Controversial quota drives immigration detention boom." Washington Post, Oct. 13 2013.
2. Letter to President Obama - End Immigrant Detention Bed Mandate." Project Vote Smart, Sept. 26, 2013.