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Multiple states are set to consider legislation that would shut down immigrant detention facilities.

At the beginning of the 2023 state legislative sessions, Colorado, New Mexico, and New York are all set to consider bills that would ban private immigrant detention facilities.

The three bills, which are nearly identical to one another, would require local governments that currently have detention contracts to terminate them by January 1st, 2024. 

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) explains that the legislation would prevent state agencies and local governments from “entering into detention contracts relating to a privately owned, managed or operated immigration detention facility” or “Selling property for the purpose of establishing a privately owned, managed or operated immigration detention facility.”

In addition, the legislation would prevent state agencies and local governments from:

…Receiving payment related to detention of illegal aliens in a privately owned, managed or operated immigration detention facility, entering into or renewing contracts to house or detain anyone for federal civil immigration purposes, [or] paying any costs related to sale, purchase, construction, development, ownership, management, or operation of a privately owned, managed or operated immigration detention facility.

FAIR also notes that most of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention facilities operate under a contractual agreement and include both local governments and private companies. 

Of the three bills, the legislation has progressed furthest in Colorado, with a hearing set to occur for House Bill (HB) 1100 on February 7th. FAIR notes that if legislation passes both chambers, it could be vetoed by Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat who often portrays himself as a moderate.  

Neither of the bills in New Mexico or New York have been set for a hearing. Additionally, FAIR contended that New York’s Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul would likely veto the bill if it were to pass through the legislature. Furthermore, FAIR also added that the legislature would likely not have the necessary number of votes to overturn a veto.

Meanwhile, open borders advocates have called for similar measures to be taken in Pennsylvania

Other states have already passed similar laws in recent years, though some have met legal trouble. California, for example, passed the first of these bans in 2019, though it was challenged in court before being ruled unconstitutional. Both Illinois and New Jersey passed similar laws in 2021, and though the Illinois ban was upheld by the 7th circuit, the New Jersey law was never challenged. 

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at

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