Constitution Project Proposes Much-Needed Reforms to Limit Immigration Detention and Improve Access to Counsel

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Matthew Allee, (202) 580-6922 or mallee@constitutionproject.org

Constitution Project Proposes Much-Needed Reforms to Limit Immigration Detention and Improve Access to Counsel

Liberty and Security Committee releases Recommendations for Reforming our Immigration Detention System and Promoting Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings

WASHINGTON - Today, the Constitution Project put forth bipartisan
recommendations for much-needed reforms to limit the use of immigration
detention and improve access to legal representation in immigration
proceedings. Titled Recommendations for Reforming our Immigration Detention System and Promoting Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings,
the report is a product of the Project's Liberty and Security
Committee, made up of policy experts from across the political
spectrum. The findings were unveiled at a panel discussion at the
National Press Club, which featured Liberty and Security Committee
member Asa Hutchinson, former member of Congress (R-AR) and
Undersecretary for Border & Transportation Security at the
Department of Homeland Security, as well as a former immigration judge
and immigration advocates.  

The Committee's report includes an
in-depth examination of the U.S. system for immigration removal
proceedings and detention, and includes a series of recommendations for
the necessary agency-level and congressional reforms. The report also
includes a detailed legal and policy analysis supporting the
Committee's recommendations for expanding access to counsel for
non-citizens in immigration proceedings. 

"The use of
immigration detention has exploded in recent years, and most of the
people held in such detention centers have no access to lawyers to help
them navigate our immigration system," said Sharon Bradford Franklin,
Constitution Project Senior Counsel. "Although detention can be an
important tool in enforcing our immigration laws, we are locking up too
many people unnecessarily, and we are failing to safeguard individual
rights, including the rights of long-term legal permanent residents. Recommendations for Reforming our Immigration Detention System and Promoting Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings offers critical and urgently needed reforms to a system that has grown too fast and fails to safeguard fundamental rights."  

To access a copy of Recommendations for Reforming our Immigration Detention System and Promoting Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings, go to: http://www.constitutionproject.org/manage/file/359.pdf

Today's panel discussion was co-sponsored by Human Rights Watch (HRW) which released a related report at the event, titled Locked Up Far Away: The Transfer of Immigrants to Remote Detention Centers in the United States. To access a copy of HRW's report, go to: www.hrw.org 

Last
year, the Constitution Project's Liberty and Security Committee
examined the government's use of immigration law as a counterterrorism
tool and put forth recommendations in The Use and Abuse of Immigration Authority as a Counterterrorism Tool: Constitutional and Policy Considerations. To view a copy, go to: http://www.constitutionproject.org/manage/file/48.pdf  

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The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at http://constitutionproject.org/.

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