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President Biden signed an executive order Tuesday to terminate the Justice Department’s use of private prisons. But the order makes no mention of private facilities the Department of Homeland Security uses to detain immigrants. During his 2020 campaign, Biden promised he would “make clear that the federal government should not use private facilities for any detention, including detention of undocumented immigrants.” ICE has relied on facilities owned by CoreCivic and GEO Group Inc., two large for-profit corporations, to detain immigrants. As of 2019, more than half of the 55,000 people in ICE detention were in private facilities. U.S. News & World Report
In other federal immigration news…
Senate Advances Mayorkas’ Homeland Security Nomination
The Senate Homeland Security Committee voted to continue with Alejandro Mayorkas’ nomination to lead DHS. If he is confirmed, he will play a valuable role in shaping America’s immigration policies The Cuban-born lawyer was originally expected to be confirmed before Biden’s inauguration, but GOP Sen. Josh Hawley delayed it. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and other Republicans utilized a Senate Homeland Security Committee meeting to bring up a 2015 DHS inspector general report that said Mayorkas showed “an appearance of favoritism and special access” for specific visa recipients, which he has denied. Politico
Homeland Security Hiring Immigration Experts
DHS has begun hiring staff with thorough backgrounds in immigration rights, immigration law and refugee resettlement. Ashley Tabaddor, who was an immigration judge for 16 years and held multiple positions at the Justice Department, will serve as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ the top lawyer. David Shahoulian, who worked at DHS in the Obama administration, will be an assistant secretary for border security and immigration. Adam Hunter will be the deputy assistant secretary on immigration for DHS. He previously worked with the Refugee Council USA, a coalition of 29 nongovernmental agencies that focused on refugee protection. Angela Kelley similarly has an extensive background in immigration policy and will become a senior counselor on immigration. CNN