New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1029-2011    Version: * Name: Reform immigration detention procedures and help ensure more just detention policies and procedures.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Immigration
On agenda: 9/21/2011
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the 112th United States Congress to pass, and the President to sign, the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act (H.R. 933), to reform immigration detention procedures and help ensure more just detention policies and procedures.
Sponsors: Daniel Dromm , The Public Advocate (Mr. de Blasio), Gale A. Brewer, Margaret S. Chin, Inez E. Dickens, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Letitia James, Karen Koslowitz, Brad S. Lander, Rosie Mendez, Deborah L. Rose, Jumaane D. Williams, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mathieu Eugene
Council Member Sponsors: 14
Res. No. 1029
 
 
Resolution calling upon the 112th United States Congress to pass, and the President to sign, the  Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act (H.R. 933), to reform immigration detention procedures and help ensure more just detention policies and procedures.
 
 
By Council Members Dromm, the Public Advocate (Mr. de Blasio), Brewer, Chin, Dickens, Ferreras, James, Koslowitz, Lander, Mendez, Rose, Williams, Mark-Viverito and Eugene
      Whereas,  According to the Pew  Research Center, undocumented immigrants residing in the United States totaled 11.2 million in the year 2010; and
Whereas, With approximately 625,000 undocumented immigrants, New York State is home to the third largest such population in the nation; and
Whereas, New York City is home to approximately three million immigrants; and
Whereas, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and
Whereas, ICE has two operating components, one of which is Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO);  ERO's  primary responsibility is to identify and apprehend undocumented immigrants, transport immigrants, manage immigrants in custody, provide access to legal resources and advocacy groups, and remove immigrants from the United States who were ordered to be deported; and
      Whereas, According to DHS, approximately  32,000 undocumented immigrants are held in detention centers on a daily basis and approximately  400,000 undocumented immigrants were deported in both FY 2009 and FY 2010; and
      Whereas, On August 6, 2009, ICE announced major reforms to its immigration detention system and created the Office of Detention Policy and Planning (ODPP); and
      Whereas, According to ICE, ODPP is charged with shaping the future designs, locations, and standards for civil immigration detention facilities; and
      Whereas, For example, through ODPP, ICE introduced an online detainee location system that allows families to locate a relative in ICE's custody; and
      Whereas, Reports indicate that ICE has improved some aspects of immigration detention procedures, but more needs to be done to ensure that a humane system is in place in immigration detention centers; and
      Whereas, ICE's operation manual entitled "Performance Based National Detention Standards" is evaluated and updated annually; and
      Whereas, According to the American Civil Liberties Union, many immigration detention centers are privately run and, therefore, are not bound to, or covered by, ICE's Performance Based National  Detention Standards; and
      Whereas, To ensure that ICE is held to a higher standard, on March 3, 2011, United States Congress Members Lucille Roybal-Allard, Jared Polis, and Barney Frank introduced the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act (H.R. 933); and
Whereas, If enacted, the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act would direct DHS to (1) convene a detention advisory committee; (2) promulgate regulations regarding detainee care and custody; (3) implement secure alternatives to detention, including programs under which eligible detainees are released under supervision, assistance, and monitoring that ensure their appearance at all immigration interviews, appointments, and hearings; and (4) provide protective detention alternatives for specified categories of vulnerable detainees; and
      Whereas, If enacted, the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act would allow ICE to notify immigrant detainees  of their rights to: (i)access medical care; (ii) access telephones in order  to communicate with their family members, attorneys, and foreign consulates; and (iii) be eligible for alternative detention programs; and      
      Whereas, The Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act would require DHS to convene a detention advisory committee, which would ensure government accountability and enforce compliance with the laws regarding immigrant detainees; and
Whereas, The Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act would also allow for the expansion of community based alternatives to detention for eligible immigrants in ICE's custody; and
      Whereas, In 2010, as part of ICE's major overhaul of its detention procedures,  ICE announced the closure of the Varick Federal Detention Facility, the only immigration detention center in New York City; and
      Whereas, Due to the closure of the Varick Federal Detention Facility, immigrant detainees were transferred to other detention centers, sometimes out of state and far away from their families, support systems, and attorneys;  and
      Whereas, Enacting this bill is of vital importance to the City's immigrant community because New York City no longer hosts an immigration detention center, and this bill would allow detainees the opportunity to pursue alternative forms of detention that would allow them to be closer to their families and their support systems; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the 112th United States Congress to pass, and the President to sign, the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act (H.R. 933), to reform immigration detention procedures and help ensure more just detention policies and procedures.
 
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JSM
LS# 2207
5/5/11