Family Immigration Detention Centers:What Goes On Inside
The Trump administration is continuing its zero-tolerance policy of unlawful entry into the United States. But as the government processes each family, parents, and children are now being kept together in family immigration detention centers, rather than being separated, as was the policy earlier this year.
For those wondering what happens inside those centers, a few recent news articles give some insight. According to the Chicago Sun Times, in early August, federal authorities allowed reporters to tour the nation’s largest family detention center, the South Texas Family Residential Center, in Dilley, Texas. “Dilley” houses about 1,520 women and children, from ages 1 to 17. It does not accept men or people with criminal records.
Upon arriving at Dilley, authorities give all detainees physical, mental and dental exams, as well as immunizations. Women and girls ages 10 and older must take pregnancy tests. The grounds contain playgrounds, gyms, a library with books in Spanish and English, and computers where they may check their email, though they are forbidden to go on social media. Detainees eat three meals a day at the facility’s cafeteria. Teachers instruct the children under the Texas curriculum in special classroom trailers.
Although one Trump official has described family detention centers as being like “summer camps,” there is an undeniable air of incarceration. While detainees are free to move about within the compound at-will, they are locked inside, according to Human Rights Watch. Guards sometimes shout orders, and some verbally abuse detainees. In some centers, though not Dilley, detainees also wear grey jumpsuit uniforms.
Most detainees stay at Dilley for about 15 days, as federal law prohibits the government from holding migrant detainees for longer than 20 days. However, some stay longer than the prescribed time, if they’ve failed their initial interview and want to appeal. The Chicago Sun Times reports that most detainees at Dilley do pass the initial examination and are sent to live with U.S. relatives.
To gain more insights about family immigration centers, check out articles on Slate.com and USA Today.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Zanes Law are eager to help immigrant families protect their status and right to stay in the United States. If you are in need of immigration help, please contact us or call us at 844-666-8181 for a private consultation today.
To learn more about immigration attorney Doug Zanes, please visit his personal injury website at zaneslaw.com.