“Policing, Profits, and the Rise of Immigration Detention in New York's ‘Chinese Jails’” explains how Chinese exclusion law created a “detention economy” in upstate New York. From 1900–1909, Northern New York jails held thousands of Chinese migrants who had been apprehended by immigration authorities crossing the U.S.-Canada border, and had filed habeas corpus claims in district courts. While scholarship on Chinese Exclusion has addressed the legal battles around due process, it has overlooked the detention infrastructure that these claims produced. Because the federal immigration service had no detention facilities in the region, they “boarded out” Chinese detainees at local jails, paying counties a nightly rate for each migrant held. These contracts transformed Chinese migrants into a commodity for rural communities looking to secure federal cash, with four Northern New York counties constructing separate “Chinese Jails” in order to increase the number of Chinese migrants they could incarcerate. This article challenges the scholarship that has presented immigration detention as a Cold War era development, instead showing how communities profited off jailing migrants at the turn of the century. Through the case of U.S. v. Sing Tuck, I argue that immigration officials eventually turned to the courts to streamline deportations and reduce their need for jail space.