Menendez: Inhumane Mass Family Detention Days Are Numbered

Menendez: Inhumane Mass Family Detention Days Are Numbered

Applauds Court Decision Ordering Release of Immigrant Children and Mothers from Deplorable Detention Centers Without Delay

WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) issued the following statement in response to Friday’s ruling by Judge Dolly M. Gee from the United States District Court from the Central District of California against current family detention policies. In the late Friday decision, Judge Gee called for the immediate end of DHS’s family detention policies for immigrant families.

“This momentous ruling confirms what faith leaders, human rights experts, immigration groups and many of us in congress have been saying: Family detention policies are not only inhumane and unnecessary, they are also illegal. The government must get out of the business of locking up children and families who are fleeing violence, particularly if it is clear they do not pose a danger to the community, national security or are a flight risk. I urge the Administration to swiftly implement Judge Gee’s order without delay.”

Senator Menendez has been at the front of the effort  in Congress to end immigrant family detention policies. He was part of a group of 10 Senators who sent a letter to Secretary Johnson on October 16, 2014, expressing concerns over a decision to build a new 2,400 bed immigration detention facility for women and children in Dilley, Texas. More recently, in a March 31, 2015 letter to leaders of the Senate Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Senator Menendez requested specific bill language and report language on the exorbitant use and cost of family detention centers. On June 1, 2015, Senator Menendez was one of 33 U.S. Senators to urge Secretary Johnson to end the practice of presumptive detention of families and return to the policy of utilizing detention only as a last resort, when there is a serious public safety or flight risk that cannot be mitigated by alternatives to detention.