Technically, immigrants in detention centers are not being held in prison. However, some who have spent time in the centers say they’re no different.

One immigrant, for instance, had been in jail for a time, and he or she then wound up in detention afterward. That person said it felt like serving time for the same infraction twice. There was virtually no difference.

Another person called the conditions inhumane. He or she claimed it was so bad that people inside were actively petitioning the authorities for deportation. They were asking to be sent away just so they wouldn’t have to wait in detention for a decision to be made.

One man has made it his mission to strive for improvements in those living conditions. He knows firsthand what it’s like since he was in the Adelanto Detention Facility before being released.

His opinion is that one of the first steps to take just involves changing the name of the centers. He thinks people will be better able to understand what they’re like if they’re just called prisons instead of detention facilities.

However, those running the facilities have fired back, saying they’re not jails at all. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actually calls them detention facilities and processing centers. They say that people are just detained for administrative purposes, which is far different than holding someone in prison after a criminal conviction.

Of course, the man’s argument is that, while they shouldn’t be prisons, the conditions are still the same.

It’s very important for those being held to know why they’ve been detained and what legal options they have moving forward.

Source: The Orange County Register, “Why one former immigrant detainee says detention centers should be called prisons,” Alejandra Molina, Jan. 28, 2018