The National Shame of Immigrant Detention Centers

Red Letter Christians | 2/12/2019 | Stephen Mattson
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On any given day, there are nearly 40,000 immigrants detained in U.S. custody. Many of these detention centers are run by for-profit corporations that have limited oversight, yet receive substantial profits from the U.S. government. Reports show that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and some of these companies made contributions to Trump’s presidential campaign, and many implement slave-like practices of paying a meager $1-$3 a day for manual labor.

Public access to these facilities is often strictly prohibited, and few have access to see what the conditions are like inside, but revelations have been damning. Physicians report a lack of access to proper medical care, where babies and young children are especially vulnerable to both physical and psychological trauma. The poor conditions are reflected by the recent deaths of two small children who were being held within this horrific system.

US - Representative - Joaquin - Castro - Texas

U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro from Texas recently said that the camp environments were “subhuman,” describing scenes of “people who are strewn on the floor covered in Mylar blankets, which look like foil. They are body-to-body and literally step all over each other.” Recently uncovered videos showed staffers shoving and pushing migrant children.

An investigation revealed that “sexual assault and harassment in immigration detention are not only widespread but systemic, and enabled by an agency that regularly fails to hold itself accountable.” In the face of such atrocities, there’s little accountability or recourse for its victims. The ACLU points out that “the immigration system contains an unnecessary and unconstitutional lack of rights that is unheard of in the criminal justice system.” Many immigrants are seeking asylum but aren’t being granted the proper legal channels to obtain it, and the current administration is stonewalling tens of thousands of people desperately in need of it. Legal aid of any kind is extremely hard to obtain, despite...
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