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Why do some compare immigration detention facilities to prisons?

Federal government officials describe facilities where immigrants are detained as “alternatives to detention”. A recent study, conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas, has likened immigration detention centers to prisons.

In their report, the researchers chronicle various reasons that these facilities come off more like prisons than a perhaps a less harsh alternative.

For one, it’s fairly commonplace for the detainees to be forced to wear brightly colored jumpsuits. In facilities visited, it’s commonplace for both children and their mothers held there to be provided with jumpsuits to wear that vary in colors depending on how threatening they appear to be.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) campus or residential centers, as they’re called, like prisons, are often constructed on rural parcels of land. Researchers found that this fact often makes it difficult for the detainees to find attorneys that are willing to visit them so far out. It also makes it both unfeasible and a logistical nightmare for these individuals’ family members to either visit or communicate with them.

The design of these facilities is similar to that of a prison as well. The buildings on ICE campuses are constructed where they offer very few windows and feature reinforced security doors operated by guards. These campuses are often surrounded by both tall fences and heavy concrete walls with flood lights that remain on throughout the night.

Inside the residential quarters of the buildings, multiple families are housed together in a single room, where they share just one bathroom and sleep on bunk beds. In other instances, temporary trailers house the women and kids.

Whether you’re currently being held in one of these ICE campuses or you’re currently out awaiting a deportion hearing, a New Orleans U.S. immigration detention attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.

Source: Futurity, “Immigrant detention looks a lot like prison, say lawyers,” George Diepenbrock-Kansas, accessed Dec. 01, 2017