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Unlocking immigrant detention reform
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security now incarcerates, via immigration detention, more people per year than any other state or federal agency. In 2012, the DHS detained over 429,000 noncitizens awaiting immigration hearings or deportation, at a $2 billion cost to taxpayers. Yet the DHS' new risk assessment technology, which comprehensively and individually assesses immigrant detainees and collects valuable data, makes it possible for Congress to improve detention practices while reforming broader U.S. immigration laws. With this risk assessment technology — piloted in Baltimore and Washington since September — Congress can now effectively decriminalize immigration detention without increasing risk to the American public.
By Robert Koulish and Mark Noferi
February 20, 2013