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Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke’s Statement on DHS Regulation Changes to Immigration Detention System

Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) sweeping changes to the Immigration Detention System:

“I commend the Obama Administration and Secretary Napolitano for establishing new initiatives to begin reforming our nation’s broken immigration detention system,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “I pleased to see that DHS is taking the additional steps necessary to address these concerns.”

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton rolled out a series of initiatives meant to further reform the Bush-era detention center system. The changes are in addition to the detention reforms presented in August and part of an ongoing effort on behalf of DHS to reform its immigration agency.

This summer, Napolitano also announced that DHS would standardize ICE’s 287(g) program, a widely-criticized initiative that gives state and local police agencies that enter into agreements with ICE the authority to enforce immigration laws.

Earlier this year, DHS suspended controversial workplace raids and introduced a new set of guidelines that require ICE officials to focus on the employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers, rather than the workers themselves. Secretary Napolitano commented that the old Bush Administration system was, “out of date in terms of what needs to happen in a modern-day world.”

The new reforms must be adequately enforced.

“While I am glad to see these changes being put in place, it is clear that broader policy reform must take place to fix our nation’s immigration system as a whole,” said Clarke. “Our nation must aggressively take the steps to address our broken immigration system, which means providing a clear pathway for citizenship for the undocumented and restoring judicial discretion to the immigration courts system.”

“As the only New York City member on the House Homeland Security Committee, representing one of the most diverse districts in the nation, I am fighting to ensure that comprehensive immigration reform remains a top priority for our nation,” concluded Congresswoman Clarke.
For more information on the reforms, visit