Senator Mary Landrieu chairs the Senate sub-committee on Department of Homeland Security Appropriations. In this position she has been able to secure billions of dollars in disaster funding to assist Louisianans to recover from Hurricane Katrina. She also has a major voice on funding levels for immigration detention beds.
The number of immigrants detained and deported has skyrocketed 80% since 2002, devastating hundreds of thousands of families. This year, the American taxpayers will spend over $2 billion to detain 34,000 immigrants per day—many of whom have committed no crime and should not have been detained in the first place. President Obama has sent a budget request to Congress that decreases the amount of beds available for detention, thereby ensuring that fewer immigrants are separated from their families while languishing in detention. Now we must call on Senator Landrieu to support this request and keep families together.
Please call Senator Landrieu at one of her four offices:
1) Thank her for all her hard work helping Louisiana recover from Hurricane Katrina.
2) And ask her to please support President Obama’s request to decrease detention funding by 1200 beds a day and increase the amount of funding available for alternatives to detention programs that are effective and far less costly to American taxpayers.
Right now the amount of detention beds that must be filled is an arbitrary, congressionally-set figure not based on demonstrated need. Secretary Napolitano testified in March that DHS does not need all of the detention beds that Congress authorized this year. Congress should not be wasting taxpayer dollars on unnecessary, inhumane, and costly detention. By law, some individuals must be detained. But thousands of others do not. A recent report based on a snapshot of immigration detention reveals that 40% of individuals held in detention on October 3, 2011 had NO criminal history. Now is the time to keep families together, and keep people from being detained that don’t need to be in detention.