Of the 34,000 people now being held in immigration detention centers across the nation, only about 3,700 are being held in five ICE-owned facilities that are overseen by the agency but run by private contractors. Further, ICE works with 46 privately run detention centers. Of those, 11 are privately owned and operated and 35 are publicly owned but operated by private contractors.
“If we came back with a recommendation to build new facilities, it would be very costly to both build and to staff,” Phil Miller, deputy executive associate director of ICE’s enforcement and removal operations, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “And the time for delivery would be lengthy because we would have to identify and train an entire new group of persons to manage these.”