D1A Sets the Record Straight on Contractors’ Role in Immigration System

April 6, 2023

WASHINGTON – Day 1 Alliance (D1A), the trade association representing private-sector criminal justice and immigration system contractors, authored a Letter to the Editor published today in The Bakersfield Californian pushing back on misconceptions contained in an op-ed published earlier in March:

Letter to the editor: Understand contractors’ role in immigration system

The March 5 op-ed “President Biden: Shut the American gulag, issue a presidential pardon, uphold universal asylum rights,” is not only a hyperbolic attempt to liken longtime U.S. policy under both Democratic and Republican administrations to horrific Soviet atrocities, but reveals a basic misunderstanding of contractors’ role in the U.S. immigration system.

Because U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not have its own facilities, the federal government has for decades relied nearly exclusively on contractors to house and process migrants navigating the immigration court system. Contractors are held to strict federal standards, which were updated and strengthened under President Obama. Everything from health care services and access to attorneys and immigrant rights advocates are provided. Without this critical infrastructure, migrants would likely be housed in overcrowded local jails alongside potentially dangerous people.

There would be serious negative consequences for migrants’ living conditions if this system — and the contractors that support it — were not in place. They deserve respectful and dignified care, not political slogans and misinformation.

Alexandra Wilkes, national spokeswoman, Day 1 Alliance

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