Rep. Menendez chides House GOP for still allowing ICE deals with private prisons


U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8) is chiding House Republicans for blocking an amendment he tried to introduce to prevent U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from entering into agreements with private prison facilities.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“House Republicans’ refusal to consider our amendment to prevent private immigration detention in New Jersey is deeply disappointing,” Menendez began in a statement.

“This decision reflects a troubling disregard for the values and well-being of immigrant communities in New Jersey’s Eighth Congressional District and across the state. We must continue to fight for a fair and humane immigration system that prioritizes the rights and dignity of every individual.”

Menendez’s amendment would prohibit funding from being used to enter into or renew contracts for private immigration detention in states like New Jersey, where state laws have been enacted prohibiting the operation of such facilities.

H.R. 8725 passed the House of Representatives without the Congressman’s support on Friday, June 28th by a vote of 212- 203.

“I am frustrated but not at all surprised that House Republicans have refused to consider my and Rep. Menendez’s amendment to prohibit public contracts with private prisons in New Jersey,” added U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12).

“Republicans are scared to stand up to special interests and private prison corporations at the expense of New Jersey’s communities. Rep. Menendez and I will always stand up for what’s right for New Jerseyans. It’s a shame we can’t say the same about our colleagues across the aisle.”

Earlier this month, Menendez, Watson Coleman, and U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland encouraging the U.S. Department of Justice  to refrain from supporting ICE contracts for private detention centers in New Jersey.

He also co-led a letter with Rep. Watson Coleman and late Rep. Payne urging the DOJ to rescind its support for CoreCivic’s lawsuit against AB 5207, New Jersey’s state law prohibiting private immigration detention.

Additionally, in September 2023, Menendez and Watson Coleman sent an additional letter urging Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to terminate efforts to continue contracting with CoreCivic for the operation of EDC in Elizabeth.

The Congressman also held discussions with senior DHS officials to advocate for the closure of the facility in December 2023 and visited EDC to inspect conditions in January 2024. Menendez initially called for the closure of EDC in July 2023, as HCV first reported.

Menendez is a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the operations of DHS and ICE.

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  1. Congressman Menendez,
    When will you chide President Biden for putting himself ahead of the needs of his Party and His Country. Please immediately urge him not to run for re-election.