Jeb! on Detention Quota: "That policy should change"
I was the first person Jeb! called on at the Alton Town Hall Meeting. "Thank you for talking about how we need to end immigrant detention quota," I began. "There is a provision in the ... budget that locks up 34,000 immigrants every day and it was lobbied for by corporations that profit from incarceration. How can we end the system where corporations lobby and get public policy that benefits them?"
"First of all you have to have total transparency about lobbying," he said, and explained his proposal to make lobbying more transparent through internet disclosures within 48 hours.
"As it relates to the particular policy, we need to control our borders," he started, stating that "you are going to have fewer people to put behind bars" if borders are controlled.
Then he turned his attention to the detention quota, which I had already discussed with him a month ago in Franklin. At that time he said he didn't like the quota, but was non-committal about ending it. Several days later he responded to another bird dog question with a request for more information, which we sent.
In Alton, Jeb! acknowledged receiving the information, and said, "I don’t think that it is appropriate to have an actual quota of people behind bars. That is kind of backwards."
"It ought to be based on what the situation is, not building the number of beds," Jeb! said.
"Whether it is privately run or publicly run is not important to me as the fact that you have really an X number of beds to fill, that Congress has appropriated this money whether they are filled full or not," he said.
After commenting on the doll that my six year old daughter was playing with, Jeb! added, "I think that policy should change."
Afterward, I handed him a copy of the AFSC paper, "How for-profit prison corporations shape immigrant detention and deportation policies."