Alice Vacek Aranda
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Immigration family detention centers can have negative impacts

A sad reality faces some of the families who come to the United States while trying to flee from persecution in their home country. Some of these immigrants are being forced into immigrant family detention center, which are being called prison-like. These centers have orders that they must improve, but little seems to be improving in the for-profit system of detention centers.

Some families who came into the country to flee persecution are finding out that they are being removed from the country quickly. In some cases, these families don't even get a chance to present their case before they are removed. The sad fact is that these families are being placed in the prison-like immigrant family detention centers under the premise that mothers and children will have to be separated if they don't go into a center.

The families who are forced into these centers often face negative consequences, such as mental health effects, that are often long-term issues. Family relationships are strained because of the severely restrictive environment in the centers. Additionally, being detained in a facility can impede the family's right to due process that makes it difficult for them to obtain asylum status.

The increase in immigrant family detention center beds, which currently includes almost 3.800 beds, is troubling because immigrants in these facilities aren't always granted access to legal counsel. If you have a family member in an immigrant family detention center or if you are being housed in one, you should explore all the options you have for remaining in the country. From there, you can start working on your plan to remain.

Source: National Immigrant Justice Center, "Stop Detaining Families," accessed Oct. 26, 2015

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