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Detention of Aliens in Bureau of Prison Facilities - Hearing Before the House Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice, June 23, 1982

NCJ Number
Date Published
397 pages
This congressional hearing on the detention of aliens in facilities operated by the Bureau of Prisons stemmed from the request by the Reagan Administration for $35 million for the construction and operation of 1,000-bed detention facilities in El Reno, Oklahoma and Petersburg, Virginia.
Before May 25, 1982, the administration sought money to have the Immigration and Naturalization Service build and manage such facilities. However, since last summer the administration has asked the Bureau of Prisons to assume an active role in detaining about 600 Haitians awaiting resolution of immigration matters, including asylum claims. An associate attorney general of DOJ testified that the Bureau of Prisons should have the main responsibility for these facilities because it, unlike the Immigration and Naturalization Service, is experienced in both short-term and long-term detention. A representative of the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights noted recent judicial decisions declaring the detention policy to be illegal. He also noted that no evidence exists to justify holding Haitians as security risks or as having a potential for absconding. He concluded that constructing new detention facilities would formalize and institutionalize a discriminatory policy. A representative of the American Civil Liberties Union argued that the Haitians were being denied due process of law and were receiving unequal treatment under the law. Appendixes present legislative and budget materials, materials from DOJ, materials from members of Congress, general correspondence, media reports, and other general information.