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Use of Private Detention Facilities Under Review


It has long been the practice of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to contract private detention facilities. About 25% of the nation’s immigration detention facilities are privately owned and operated, and 73% of all detainees are housed in private facilities. According to an article in the Gillette News Record, the use of private facilities is up for review.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which supervises ICE, has commissioned an advisory council to evaluate the use of private detention centers. The decision is expected in November.

The advisory council was prompted by the findings of the Department of Justice (DOJ), who have likewise questioned the safety and security of private facilities and found evidence to support that concern. The review is welcome news to immigrant advocates as well as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who published a report earlier this year about the many human rights violations in private immigration detention facilities.

Most notably, the ACLU’s report found the medical care in these private detention centers to be severely lacking. At the Eloy Center – just one of the 46 privately owned and operated facilities – there have been 14 deaths caused by poor medical care since 2004.

Highlighting the problem with these facilities, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Pablo Alvarado said, “What some people call ‘private detention centers’ are in fact public jails for immigrants that are operated by for-profit corporations.”

Privatization invites the slackening of standards and devaluing of human dignity in the name of profit. The advisory council is sure to uncover these issues in its investigation. For the sake of those detained, our firm hopes that the federal government moves away from private immigration detention facilities.

Facing an immigration issue? The attorneys at Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. have over 100 years of combined legal experience. Our firm offers representation in Tampa, Orlando, El Paso, and Albuquerque.

Contact us today for a confidential consultation!

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