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A congressional mandate requires that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, maintain bed space to detain 34,000 immigrants per day at an annual cost of more than $2 billion. This arbitrary number is unrelated to the agency’s actual bed-space needs, wasting taxpayer dollars and placing immigrants at risk of abuse and mistreatment in detention facilities.While immigrants spend one month in detention on average, those fighting deportation cases are detained for more than three times as long, sometimes even for years.
Sharita Gruberg is a Policy Analyst for LGBT Progress at the Center for American Progress.
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Former Vice President, LGBTQI+ Research and Communications Project