"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.