Deaths in Immigration Detention Facilities


session 2019-2020
priority High
Author Durazo
position Support
Letter View Letter

Six children  are reported to have died in immigration locked facilities (“detention camps”). This bill would ensure that the California Attorney General is immediately informed of  any deaths in these facilities, provide  jurisdiction to them to open an investigation,  including access to the facilities, and  would require a public report on the findings. A challenge to improving conditions in these facilities has been access  to them, which would be provided in this bill when the worst outcomes, deaths, occur.

10/13/19 Vetoed by the Governor.
Governor’s Veto Message
To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 622 without my signature, as I am concerned its goal of providing for state investigations of deaths of individuals under federal custody will not be achieved.

The Trump Administration has weaponized our immigration and detention systems for political gain, demonizing migrants and asylum seekers and instilling fear in immigrant communities. Time and time again, we have seen reports of deplorable living conditions, disease outbreaks and human rights abuses in these detention centers.

That is why California is leading by prohibiting private, for-profit prisons and detention facilities. I believe that closing these facilities needs to be our focus as it is the best way to address these injustices.


Gavin Newsom