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Congress should get serious about immigration detention facilities

March 28, 2012 (1 min read)

"During the last decade, I’ve crisscrossed America visiting remote immigration detention centers in more than half a dozen states. From New Jersey to California, there are over 250 such facilities that house almost 400,000 immigrants and asylum seekers on an annual basis -- all waiting in limbo as their fate in the United States is determined. Some of the facilities are actual jails, others just look and feel like them. Time spent there is certainly no “holiday,” a notion that seems to escape some members of Congress.   On March 28, for example, the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), will host a hearing titled “Holiday on ICE: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s New Immigration Detention Standards.”   It’s these kinds of flip references that make you think the Chairman is out of touch with the gravity of what people face in immigration detention." - Annie Sovcik, advocacy counsel, Refugee Protection Program at Human Rights First, Mar. 27, 2012.