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How long do immigrants typically remain in detention facilities?

President Trump has taken a hard-line approach to deal with illegal immigration since he first came into office a few years ago. This has resulted in an uptick in detentions of would-be residents and citizens. While many news outlets and lawmakers alike have called attention to the plight of these immigrants, very little has been said about how long that they generally remain locked up.

According to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), all but 30% of the immigrants who are detained remain in detention more than a month. The other 70% are generally released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody the same day that they're detained.

Data compiled by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) shows that the length of time that detainees have been forced to remain locked up has been progressively increasing under the Trump administration. In 2015, the average stay lasted 21 days. In 2016, that number increased to 22. In 2017, the average immigrant that was detained in one of these facilities ended up spending 34 days in ICE custody.

Freedom for Immigrants, a non-profit organization, often works with detainees that have spent a year or more in detention. Among those immigrants, 28% of them have been detained for over one, but less than two years. Another 48% of them have been locked up for over two, but less than four years. Only five percent of them have been detained more than four years.

Many of the individuals that are detained complain of not receiving adequate medical care in these facilities. Others file grievances over nutritional problems, being held in solitary confinement and of not receiving reasonable access to legal counsel. Many of them are subjected to abuse or are denied religious protections.

You don't have to accept being held for an indeterminate amount of time in an ICE detention facility. It may be possible for you to secure your freedom from such a facility by posting a bond. An immigration detention attorney can advise you of what options that you may be eligible to pursue if your loved one appears to be locked up indefinitely in one of these facilities here in New Orleans or elsewhere.

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