Gillibrand: I Wouldn’t Detain Any Illegal Aliens, I'd Free Them All Into the US

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Posted: May 20, 2019 7:30 AM
Gillibrand: I Wouldn’t Detain Any Illegal Aliens, I'd Free Them All Into the US

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic presidential candidate, said if she were elected president she would do away with the detention system for illegal immigrants.

"As president of the United States, I wouldn’t use the detention system at all," Gillibrand told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s "Face the Nation."

"They don’t need to be incarcerated," she responded when further questioned. "If they are given a lawyer and given a process, they will follow it. They can go into the community in the way we used to handle these cases under the Department of Justice."

According to an analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies, 43 percent of aliens who are released into the U.S. pending trial did not appear for court in 2017. 

Other key findings from the study titled “Skipping Court,” include: 

  • Since 1996, 37 percent of all aliens free before trial disappeared from court.
  • Aliens abscond from court more often today than they did before 9/11.
  • Deportation orders for failing to appear in court exceed deportation orders from cases that were tried by 306 percent.
  • 46 percent of all unaccompanied children disappeared from U.S. immigration courts from 2013 through 2017.
  • 49 percent of unaccompanied children failed to appear in U.S. immigration courts in 2017.

Gillibrand also said she would reform the immigration system to include funding anti-terrorism and anti-drug trafficking efforts at the border, developing a more “humane” system.

"What I would do is actually fund the border security measures that are anti-terrorism, anti-human trafficking, anti-drug trafficking and anti-gun trafficking," she explained. "And I would defund these for-profit prison systems that are harming children and harming families that are seeking asylum."

Gillibrand criticized the Trump administration’s immigration policies, noting they are “inhumane, ineffective and wrong." 

The New York Democrat only has 1 percent support for the presidential nomination, according to RealClearPolitics's average of polling.