DHS Moves To End Funding Of Private Immigration Detention Centers

REUTERS/Jeff Topping

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced on August 18 that it will end its funding of immigration detention operations to private contractors, but the largest border patrol union says doing so will only make their jobs tougher.

Johnson said in a statement “the Bureau of Prisons will reduce and ultimately end its use of private prisons.”

“I directed our Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), chaired by Judge William Webster, to evaluate whether the immigration detention operations conducted by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement should move in the same direction. Specifically, I have asked that Judge Webster establish a Subcommittee of the Council to review our current policy and practices concerning the use of private immigration detention and evaluate whether this practice should be eliminated.”

Ultimately, a subcommittee of the HSAC will handle the review and send back a full report to the Director of U.S. Immigration and Johnson “no later than November 30, 2016.”

National Border Patrol Council Vice President and Spokesperson Shawn Moran questioned the move, telling The Daily Caller Monday:

“On the face of it, it would seem counterintuitive because they eliminated the government position that did that same thing 15 years ago may be a little longer, like the late 90’s in favor of private detention…I’m not too sure how they’re going to rehire those positions the detention enforcement positions that they previously had, when it was INS.”

Moran went on to say, “This just seems like typical government thinking. We’ll privatize something and then 15 years later, we’re gonna be stuck in a position where we’ll have to make it governmental again, which we’re not opposed to, having the detention enforcement officers under the purview of CBP could be better.”

However, Moran says the closing of any immigration detention facilities make border enforcement officers’ jobs harder, regardless of whether the facilities are private or run by the government.

“I think it’ll make our job more difficult. I think it’ll make immigration enforcement more difficult, because we always have a lack of bed space so if we are shutting down facilities, that’s going to make it more difficult to prosecute people and to process them and to handle any large influxes that we have in south Texas right now,” he said.

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