FACT CHECK: Does The Biden-Sanders Task Force Seek To ‘Abolish Immigration Detention,’ As Donald Trump Claims?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

President Donald Trump claimed during a Tuesday news conference at the White House that the Biden-Sanders unity task force seeks to “abolish immigration detention.”

Verdict: False

The Biden-Sanders unity task force recommends the abolition of for-profit immigration detention centers, according to the task force’s report. It does not call for the abolition of all immigration detention.

Fact Check:

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign recently released a 110-page document outlining policy recommendations agreed to by the Biden-Sanders unity task force, a collaborative effort between the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Politico reported. The document, which has been submitted to the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee ahead of next month’s Democratic National Convention, covers six key areas: the economy, climate change, criminal justice reform, education, health care and immigration.

During a news conference at the White House on Tuesday, Trump appeared to criticize many of the task force’s recommendations, including those related to immigration. He claimed the task force proposed to “abolish immigration detention. No more detention. You come in here illegally, no more detention,” per the transcript. (RELATED: Viral Photos Of Crowded Detention Centers Were Not Taken During The Trump Administration)

But his characterization of the task force’s policy recommendation on immigration detention is inaccurate. While the document released by the task force calls for the elimination of for-profit detention centers, it does not call for the abolition of immigration detention all together. It proposes to “end for-profit detention centers and ensure that any facility where migrants are being detained is held to the highest standards of care and guarantees the safety and dignity of families,” according to the document.

The U.S. government detains tens of thousands of immigrants on average every day in detention centers across the country while they await determinations on their immigration statuses and, sometimes, deportations, according to NBC News. The detention facilities immigrants are held in include those operated by the federal government, contracted county jails and contracted private prison companies.

The Biden-Sanders task force recommends the use of immigration detention as a “last resort” and encourages the prioritization of “investments in alternatives to detention, including proven community-based alternatives and non-profit case management programs.” It also states that the detention of children “should be restricted to the shortest possible time, with their access to education and proper care ensured.”

Neither the White House nor the Biden campaign returned a request for comment.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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