Every country has immigration laws and procedures that apply to the arrest, detainment and deportation of unlawful immigrants. This means that every country also needs to have facilities in which to detain and care for immigrants who have been arrested under these laws. If your loved one has been detained in a U.S. immigration detention center, you may want to know what he or she is experiencing inside.
One way to better understand U.S. immigration detention centers is to see how they measure up compared to others around the world. In the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Italy, for example, private companies run the detention centers on behalf of the government. In the Netherlands and Sweden, on the other hand, central government agencies operate the centers.
Sweden is known for offering the best conditions for its immigration detainees, including two people to a room and the ability for residents to continue wearing their personal clothing. Then, 20 individuals share a common area that includes couches, a pool table, dining furniture and a television set. Detainees also have access to telephones, visitation rooms and internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In the United States on the other hand, detainees have to wear color-coded prison uniforms and they are constantly monitored by surveillance cameras. Residents only have access to the outdoors several hours per day. Common areas are equipped with prison stainless steel furniture that is bolted to concrete flooring. Telephones and computers with internet are difficult and rare to gain access to. Sometimes, detainees in the United States have to work for $1 to $3 per day.
Not all immigration detainees will face such harsh conditions, but it’s frightening to think that a loved one could be experiencing something like this. If your loved one has been detained by immigration agents, make sure you do everything you can to get them freed.