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Detention Watch Network (DWN) v. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE)

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In November of 2013, the Detention Watch Network (DWN) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies for information pertaining to the so-called "detention bed quota," also known as the "detention bed mandate" or "lockup quota."


On February 11, 2014, CCR and DWN filed for a Preliminary Injunction in the Southern District of New York. Parties will appear in front of federal District Court Judge Lorna Schofield in April 2014.


Since 2009, appropriations bills passed by the U.S. Congress have required 34,000 immigration detention beds be filled at all times, though the use of local jails and correctional facilities, as well as private correctional facilities. This detention of undocumented individuals is a matter of concern to DWN, CCR and the affected communities nationwide. The suggestion in recent news articles that the quota is not welcomed by high-level Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) officials such as former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano,  but is the result of private prison corporations lobbying certain members of the Senate and House DHS appropriations subcommittees, raises questions regarding fiscal responsibility and appropriations priorities.

The public has a right to understand the motives of government officials and agencies regarding this important policy issue, which devastates families and immigrant communitiesespecially in light of the upcoming appropriations and continued Comprehensive Immigration Reform debate. The request hopes to obtain information that gives the public a better understanding of the detention bed quota, the decision-making surrounding the quota, and its impact on detention policy and detention contracting decisions. This information will enable the public, advocates and policy-makers to engage in an important on-going policy debate.


On November 25, 2013, CCR and DWN filed their FOIA request with DHS and ICE.

On January 30, 2014, CCR and DWN filed their FOIA complaint in the Southern District of New York (SDNY).

On February 11, 2014, CCR and DWN filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

On March 5, 2014, Defendant DHS filed a Motion to Dismiss.

On March 6, 2014, Defendants responded to our Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

On March 17, 2014, Plaintiffs filed our Reply to Defendants' Opposition.

On March 28, 2014, Plaintiffs filed our Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

On April 7, 2014, Defendants withdrew their Motion to Dismiss.


FOIA Request and Complaint

February 11, 2014 Preliminary Injunction

Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (2/11/14)

Defendants' Opposition to Preliminary Injunction (3/4/14)

Plaintiffs' Reply (3/17/14)

March 5, 2014 Defendant DHS's Motion to Dismiss

DHS Motion to Dismiss (3/5/14)

Plaintiffs' Opposition to DHS Motion to Dismiss (3/28/14)

Attached Files