Immigration Detention in Louisiana [FACT SHEET]

By Ruthie Epstein

Human Rights First is hosting a Dialogues on Detention Series in Texas, California, Arizona, and New Orleans to convene policymakers, academics, and advocates to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices on how to reform immigration detention policies. We aim to help shift the national conversation on immigration detention, build alliances between stakeholders in both fields, and lay the groundwork for future improvements in policy and practice. Join the Dialogues!

Louisiana by the Numbers (pdf)
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds in facilities in Louisiana: 2,000 (6% of the total number of ICE detention beds nationwide).
  • ICE detention beds in Louisiana county jails: 450.
  • ICE detention beds in privately run facilities (including county jails) in Louisiana: 1,250.
ICE Facilities in Louisiana
  • Two facilities are operated by private prison companies – LaSalle Detention Facility (Geo Group) in Jena, with 900 ICE beds, and South Louisiana Detention Center (LCS Corrections Services, Inc.) in Basile, with 350 ICE beds.
  • The federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Federal Detention Center in Oakdale, which has 600 to 700 ICE beds. Oakdale is not subject to ICE detention standards.
  • One county jail – Tensas Parish Correctional Center in Waterproof – holds the remaining 100 ICE detention beds in Louisiana.
  • ICE pulled out of Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) in April 2012 following serious concerns over conditions expressed by the U.S. Department of Justice as well as a federal class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of OPP’s inmates by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • Law school clinics from Loyola University New Orleans and Louisiana State University provide legal information presentations to individuals held by ICE at Basile and Tensas Parish. Catholic Charities in Baton Rouge is funded to provide Legal Orientation Presentations at Jena. Individuals held by ICE at Oakdale do not receive legal information presentations.
The Facts
  • ICE holds the overwhelming majority of the 429,000 asylum seekers and other immigrants it detains annually – under civil immigration law authority – in jails and jail-like facilities.
  • ICE has 33,400 detention beds in about 250 facilities across the country.
  • Arriving asylum seekers and many other immigrants are detained without access to individual court review of their detention.
  • ICE spends $2 billion per year on detention – 28 times its budget for alternatives to detention.
  • Immigration detention costs taxpayers $164 per day. Alternatives to detention cost taxpayers 30 cents to $14 per day.
  • Immigrants in removal proceedings do not receive government-funded counsel. Immigration detention creates a tremendous barrier to accessing legal representation. 40% of ICE’s detention beds are in remote locations.
  • Highly regarded Legal Orientation Presentations reach just 15% of detained immigrants and 35% of detained immigrants in removal proceedings annually.

Published on November 15, 2012


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