Anti-Borders Groups Targeting ICE Private Detention Facilities

Press Releases

July 2, 2021

IRLI shows why activists’ suit should be dismissed

WASHINGTON—On Wednesday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a case in which activist attorneys seek to cripple the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house and transfer custody of aliens subject to removal in a flexible way responsive to the agency’s changing needs.

For decades, ICE has contracted with private companies to house detained aliens, rather than build and run its own facilities. The system allows ICE to place aliens where it is most convenient and efficient to do so. In an attack on that system, some aliens and their anti-borders attorneys have brought suit in a California federal district court, demanding an injunction against this longstanding practice.

In its brief urging dismissal of the lawsuit, IRLI shows that such an injunction would have no basis in the law: ICE, like every other federal agency, has full authority to enter into contracts with private entities to assist it in performing its mission, and the plaintiffs were unable to come up with any case or law to the contrary.

“This case is yet another attack by anti-borders activists on private detention, which plays a vital role in immigration enforcement,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Their aim here is the same as in previous cases: to cripple enforcement by crashing the system. We hope the court sees this misuse of the judicial system for what it is—and also the baselessness of the plaintiffs’ claims—and dismisses the case.”

The case is Solano v. ICE, No. 2:21-cv-01576 (C.D. Cal.).

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