Immigrant detention soars under Biden Administration

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WINNFIELD, La. (AP) — The number of people in federal immigration detention has risen markedly under President Joe Biden.

Since the end of February, the number of detainees has more than doubled, to nearly 27,000 as of July 22.

That’s higher than the total detained last July under then-President Donald Trump.

The rising detentions are a sore point for Biden’s pro-immigration allies, who had hoped he would turn the page on Trump’s hardline policies.

Many of the detainees have cleared their initial screening to seek asylum in the U.S. A White House spokesman says Biden has proposed reducing the number of detention beds and shifting some of their use to processing immigrants for parole.

In May, the Biden administration terminated contracts with two controversial ICE detention centers — one in Georgia and another in Massachusetts — getting praise from advocates who hoped it would be the start of a broader rollback.

But no other facilities have lost their ICE contracts, and Biden has proposed funding for 32,500 immigrant detention beds in his budget, a modest decrease from 34,000 funded by Trump.

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