Louisiana is slowly becoming the prime location for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to send its detainees. Currently, there are an estimated 8,000 out of a total of 48,000 immigrants that are being detained in Louisiana.The federal agency has signed several agreements that have allowed ICE officials to convert former prisons into detention facilities during the last year alone.
When asked why the federal agency has so far set up at least 11 immigration detention facilities in the state, a spokesperson mentioned that it wasn't necessarily intentional. She mentioned that the agency sets up these facilities whenever they can find bed space.
She noted that the owners of these former Louisiana jails and prisons have been most amenable to converting the facilities to meet their needs. She notes that the areas where they have set up shop already have the necessary individuals on hand to run the detention center.
La Salle Corrections, one of the private companies that runs detention centers in Louisiana and elsewhere in the southeast has said that most of its detainees are from Central America or Asia.
Detainees are given uniforms and are expected to walk with their hands placed behind them as they walk around the facility. The immigrants that are locked up there are allowed to exercise outside for four hours daily. Many detainees use their free time to attend religious services or to earn money while working in the facility's cafeteria. Detainees sleep in large rooms that hold 40 or more beds.
Untreated mental health concerns are common among the detainees. Depression is the primary complaint among them.
Many detainees have complained about the lack of variety among food choices that are available to them. This has made it hard for individuals who are on special diets to thrive.
Some detainees spend an extended time in these facilities awaiting the next court date in their case. Many detainees suffer or die waiting for a resolution in their case.
If you have a loved one that is being detained in one of these facilities, and you're looking to gain some perspective as to their prospects for being released while their court case is pending, then an immigration detention attorney can help. Your New Orleans lawyer can advise you of the next steps that you can take to reach a quicker resolution in your loved one's case.