PRESS STATEMENT: Immigration Detention (CA-SB29)

September 21, 2017

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Support for SB 29 (Lara) – Immigration Detention

Dear Governor Brown:

DREAM Team Los Angeles is pleased to strongly support SB 29 (Lara), which will place crucial limits on the expansion of private immigration detention facilities and will improve transparency in immigration detention centers.

Private, for-profit immigration detention facilities present a host of problems. The facilities are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and operate with little oversight. They operate under a perverse incentive, where some are guaranteed a minimum number of detainees in their facility at all times, ensuring their profits. The private detention contracts are designed to incentivize filling the most beds at all times, regardless of whether an immigrant is actually a flight risk or there is any real reason to hold them in a detention facility. Private companies make billions in profits every year from holding individuals in civil removal proceedings.

SB 29 will prohibit local government actors from entering into any new contracts with private companies to detain immigrants for profit. This bill also states that existing contracts may not be modified to expand the number of beds. To the degree that private corporations still try to establish immigration detention centers in California, this bill will provide crucial notice provisions to ensure that facilities do not spring up unnoticed as they have in the past. Finally, SB 29 clarifies that facilities contracting with a local actor must comply with the California Public Records Act (PRA). SB 29 will be an important step forward in pushing back against this harmful and immoral practice.

For all the foregoing reasons, DREAM Team Los Angeles strongly support SB 29.


Karen Zapien
Chief Policy Analyst