As an immigrant, you may have heard about immigration detention in the past. What is it, though, and is there any chance that you could end up there?
The United States has the largest immigration detention system in the entire world. It’s a system that holds immigrants while their immigration statuses are being determined. For example, if you commit a crime and have to wait to find out if you’ll be deported, then government may hold you in immigration detention.
As of 2013, there were over 200 immigration detention centers around the country. Congress requires at least 34,000 beds to remain open at any particular time within the system. Sadly, it’s a fact that many people aren’t granted adequate medical care, family contact or legal contact while in immigration detention. That’s why knowing your rights is so important.
How many people are detained each year in the United States?
As of the 2013 fiscal year, there were 441,000 people detained in the immigration system. Each day, that costs people in the United States $124 per adult or $343 per family in family detention.
Detention is used as a primary form of enforcement for immigration law. Those who violate the right to be in the United States could find themselves in immigration detention. Due to mandatory detention requirements and a large detention budget, the number of people in immigration detention daily has increased significantly from as few as 5,000 in 1994 to over 34,000 in 2014.
As someone living in the United States, you retain the same rights as others. Know your legal right to speak with an attorney. If you’re accused of a crime or could face time in a detention center, there’s time to speak with someone who can help.