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My Eye-Opening Visit to an Immigration Jail - Careen Shannon

November 13, 2014 (1 min read)

"We had been warned about the awful smell outside the detention center, though we were also told that it probably wouldn’t be too bad on this cool autumn day.  I still wasn’t prepared for what hit me.  As soon as the detention facility director opened up the heavy metal door to let us out into the concrete recreation area, I almost choked as I found myself inhaling a thick, malodorous vapor.  It felt soupy and metallic in my mouth and throat, and the foul-smelling fumes coated the inside of my nose with a putrid, chemical residue that stayed with me long after the five minutes we spent outside.  This certainly wasn’t the place to go for a dose of fresh air, and I couldn’t imagine wanting to exercise out there.  I was just glad it wasn’t July, when the stench is said to be even stronger. ... These people are not criminals.  They are not incarcerated due to convictions for violent crimes or drug smuggling or the like.  Instead, they have committed the civil infraction of seeking to enter the United States without authorization.  Make no mistake about it: despite benign-sounding words like “community” and “education” and “center” and “facility,” Delaney Hall is essentially a prison." - Careen Shannon, Nov. 12, 2014.