The Obama administration just announced they are opening a new, permanent detention center in Dilley, Texas (85 miles northeast of Laredo). This facility can hold up to 2,400 individuals, making it the largest immigration detention center in the U.S. by a large margin. According to the New York Times, the next largest permanent facility can only hold 100 people.
This sends a strong message that immigration enforcement through detention and deportation is a major part of the Obama administration’s immigration policy. Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson speaking to intending illegal immigrants “It will now be more likely that you will be detained and sent back.”
This center will target women and children who try to enter the United States without inspection, or who are residing here without lawful status. Locking up women and children does not seem to be the best policy and many immigration attorneys are determined to fight against these plans. The recent New York Times article states:
“Many advocates are determined to fight the administration’s plans. Lawyers and mental health professionals who assisted women in Artesia said prolonged detention had proved damaging to mothers and their children.
Many of the women were fleeing severe sexual abuse and domestic violence at home. A group of lawyers from the American Immigration Lawyers Association represented 12 women in Artesia whose asylum claims were heard by judges, and the women won every case. The women, often revealing their experiences for the first time, told stories of serial rape by husbands and beatings of their children with belts and pistols.
One woman was granted asylum after she fled a gang that killed her brother, shot her husband and kidnapped and raped her 14-year-old stepdaughter.”
Our immigration attorney Danielle Rosché recently volunteered and reported on the atrocities and inhumane treatment she witnessed first hand at Artesia detention center.
If women and children are suffering, then who wins? The answer is the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the private prison company along with the politicians that receive their donations. CCA is estimated to earn $296 a day per detainee, which equates to $710,400 per day or $259, 296,000 per year if the center is full! It would be cheaper to put the detainees up at a 5 star hotel!