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Robert Byrd
Dump the immigrant detainee quota
Dump the immigrant detainee quota

One of the more peculiar provisions in U.S. immigration law is the little-known requirement that 34,000 potential deportees be held in federal detention centers each night. The reason for this is murky; the original language was written into the federal budget by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) in 2009 and, as bizarre as it seems, has been there ever since. Think about the policy implications of that. If Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detain someone suspected of being in the country illegally, or someone whose legal status is jeopardized by a potentially deportable arrest, the decision about whether that person should be held or released on bond is budgetary, not judicial. This is...

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