OCA Endorses the Dignity Act


14 August 2019

Contact: Thu Nguyen | Communications Manager

202.223.5500 | tnguyen@ocanational.org

Washington, DC – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates endorses Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s comprehensive immigration detention reform bill, H.R.2415 Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, which will bring oversight to our country’s inhumane detention system.

In October 2017, ICE reports that an average of 71% of detainees were jailed through mandatory detention. On average, 51% of those detained were non-criminal and had been labeled “no threat”. Yet, under current mandatory detention laws, they were permitted to be held for months or even years.

Moreover, according to data from November 2017, 71% of detainees were held in private, for-profit, company-operated prisons.

The U.S. has taken nearly 1,000 child migrants from their parents since a federal judge ordered a stop to family separations over a year ago. As the profit-driven U.S. immigrant detention system has swelled in recent years, oversight and accountability have only diminished. In response, OCA strongly supports Rep. Jayapal’s bill, which corrects these faults and sets new guidelines for family detention. 

The Dignity Act firstly repeals mandatory detention, which allows for immigrants to be detained during the full extent of their legal case without even the right to a bond hearing. The Act also imposes a higher burden of proof to detain primary caregivers and vulnerable populations and establishes alternative programs so that families can stay together outside of detention while awaiting legal proceedings. Finally, the Dignity Act eliminates the profit motive to detain people by phasing out the use of private detention facilities and jails.


OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).