Widespread detention of non-citizens is an unnecessary component of enforcing immigration laws. Indeed, immigration detention itself, without judicial oversight, runs counter to basic constitutional principles of substantive and procedural due process and violates international human rights laws that prohibit the government from arbitrary deprivations of liberty. As concluded by the UN Special Rapporteur, “The overuse of immigration detention in the United States violates the spirit of international laws and conventions and, in many cases, also violates the actual letter of those instruments. The availability of effective alternatives renders the increasing reliance on detention as an immigration enforcement mechanism unnecessary. Through these alternative programmes, there are many less restrictive forms of detention and many alternatives to detention that would serve the country’s protection and enforcement needs more economically, while still complying with international human rights law and ensuring just and humane treatment of migrants.”  

Click here to see the report from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service