Quigley offers amendment to end detention of children, families
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) on Tuesday presented an amendment to the 2016 Homeland Security appropriations bill that would prohibit the detention of immigrant children and families by the U.S.
If passed, the legislation would save the U.S. more than $345 million in taxpayer money, which Quigley would like to see reinvested into more humane and cost-effective alternatives to detention.
“The detention of immigrant mothers and children who pose no flight risk or danger to the community is simply unacceptable and goes against this country’s most fundamental values," Quigley said. "Not to mention, it costs American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year. By ending unnecessary family detention and investing in secure, effective and more humane alternatives to detention, we can use the significant savings for essential homeland security programs that Americans rely on every day like pre-disaster mitigation grants, firefighter grants and flood mapping.”
Quigley's amendment would reinvest $12 million of the more than $345 million saved from ending family detention into alternatives to detention, with the remaining savings used to increase several homeland security programs.
"Locking up immigrant children and their mothers is an affront to our values as a nation," Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center, said. "We are grateful that Congressman Mike Quigley took a stand for justice for these families by advocating to defund family detention."
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