Louisiana once had the dubious distinction of being the number one state in the nation for incarceration. A pack of criminal justice reform bills signed in 2017 helped turn things around.
The number of inmates in Louisiana jails has dropped over the past few years, but their beds aren't empty.
U.S. officials have detained more than 2,500 pregnant women in the past three years, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, and the number has gone up steadily since changes to the immigration policy took effect in 2017.
Immigration law in the United States has been a complicated practice in recent decades. Disputes involving visiting families or work permits may be sorted out with little lost except time. But time can feel like an enemy if someone is detained due to their immigration status.
We hear a lot these days about deportation, but just what is it and who can be deported? Deportation, which also is known as removal, happens when an immigrant is detained and shipped out of the country. The alien can be deported for violating a criminal or immigration law. Once returned to their home country, the deported person might not ever be able to come back to the United States, even just for a short visit. But before anyone can be removed, they can challenge the government's order.
When the current administration began allowing officials to separate immigrant children from their families back in early 2018, it caused an uproar. People could not believe that young kids were being taken away from their parents.
One of the hardest parts about being detained as an immigrant, or about having a loved one detained, is not knowing when it is going to end. You may feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and it can feel frustrating and depressing.
Detention centers are supposed to provide immigrants with everything they need while they are being detained. They may not be free to go, but they still do have basic human rights that must be respected.
Some people who end up in immigration detention centers are just children. One young woman recently talked about the time she spent in one around her sixteenth birthday.
In some cases, immigrants who get arrested in the United States have never violated the law in the past. Their first arrest comes at the hands of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.