Immigration detention is not punishment for a crime

Often times people are confused about immigration detention believing it to be time served for a criminal act. However, that is not correct. Immigration detention is administrative confinement whereby individuals are held for the purpose of insuring that they attend civil immigration proceedings.1

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) states clearly that ICE detention is “civil, not criminal, custody, which is not supposed to be punitive.” 2 ICE acknowledges that “immigration detention is not punishment”. 3 Though over 40,000 individuals are confined on any given day, resulting in the incarceration of more than 300,000 individuals per year, at an estimated cost of now well over $3 billion annually (and growing), no one held in ICE detention center is serving time for a crime.

Please sign on in support of HB624 the Rubio-Maestas Immigration Detention Facilities Act.

  1. Caitlin Patler and Tanya Maria Golash-Boza, “The Fiscal and Human Costs of Immigrant Detention and Deportation in the United States,” Sociology Compass 11, no. 11 (November 2017): 3,
  2. DHS OIG, “Concerns about ICE Detainee Treatment and Care at Detention Facilities” (Washington, D.C.: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), December 11, 2017), 1,
  3. Dora Schriro, “Immigration Detention Overview and Recommendations” (Washington D.C.: Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, October 6, 2009), 4,