‘It’s Dynamic’: ICE Chief Asks Congress To Pony Up More Cash For Detention Beds While Thousands Remain Empty

President Joe Biden's acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said at a press conference Thursday that even though there are many bed spaces available to house illegal aliens, Congress is urging Congress to create more bed spaces. He defended his request for Congress to provide funding for the project.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on November 8 that he would be directing funds to ICE after the agency closed multiple detention facilities and left thousands of detention beds unused. asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase the number of detention beds to 46,500. Patrick J. Rechleitner, Mr. Biden's acting ICE administrator, said the agency needs funding to add more hospital beds to deal with a “surge in capacity.” (Related: Democrats say Biden should take control of Texas' National Guard, but here's what they're not saying)

“Our detention capacity is in fact fluid. We need to respond to the circumstances we find ourselves in, so we can close facilities and open them up depending on the situation. “In some cases, we have to close down detention facilities because they don't meet our standards. Our standards are pretty high, so we have to close them down.” Rechleitner said in response to questions from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Border Patrol recorded more than 2.2 million encounters with immigrants illegally crossing the southern border in fiscal year 2022, and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023. according to to federal data.

Migrants walk between a series of buoys and concertina wire set up in the water along the Rio Grande border with Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, on July 16, 2023. To deter illegal entry into the United States. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP) (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP, Getty Images)

For example, the ICE facility in Adelanto has bed space for 640 people and hosts an average of 16 illegal aliens per day. according to There were seven people in custody in Adelanto as of January 12, according to the latest ICE data.

ICE was required by a September 2020 court to limit the number of detainees sent to Adelanto order Regarding the outbreak of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) within the facility.

“Due to the dynamic environment in which we are detained, some facilities will have to be relocated. This will depend on whether there are beds that are not being used, but in some cases a minimum number of beds is guaranteed. We need to be able to add more beds because of the number of people we have, so we need to make sure we have enough beds so that when we run into more people we have a place to put them. If you only have X amount of … that’s fine for a while, but then you run it and all of a sudden you’re like, oh, we need a few more beds,” he said.

Rechleitner did not respond to DCNF's questions about how many of the more than 6 million illegal aliens ICE monitors who have been released into the country want to be detained.

“Well, if you don't have that surge capacity, you're stuck. So you have to have some. So there's a minimum standard, so sometimes there are some unused beds themselves, but , it's not because we don't want to be good stewards of funds; it's because we need the ability to deal with a constantly changing environment, ”he said.

Republican California Rep. Jay Obanorte, who has been pressuring the Biden administration for its response to the Adelanto incident, previously told DCNF that releasing illegal aliens into the country is harmful to the nation.

“DHS is required by law to detain illegal immigrants, but the agency's inappropriate use of existing detention space has led to the debilitating release of illegal immigrants into American society,” Obanorte said. told DCNF. “The time has come for ICE and DHS to work with Congress to secure our borders and put an end to this crisis that is overwhelming support services and law enforcement agencies across our country.”

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