Many people in California and across the country have expressed concerns about changing immigration policy, especially in regard to immigration detention. The Trump presidential campaign in 2016 involved a number of promises to crack down on immigration, especially at the U.S. southern border. Of course, immigration detention did not begin with the current administration; the system has been growing for at least 25 years. However, the number of immigrants detained in the system has reached its highest point under Trump. This has also been accompanied by an expanding number of detention facilities, and many of these are owned by private, for-profit companies.
In some states, like Louisiana and Texas, the growth in immigration detention overall has been driven by growth in this for-profit industry. While Congress passed a directive to detain fewer people, and the detention of families and children sparked worldwide outrage, the numbers have continued to grow. In the past, Immigration and Customs Enforcement pulled back from using private prison firms for immigration detention, especially after several reports revealed widespread mistreatment and abuse at these facilities. However, since June 2019, there has been a striking rise in the number of immigrants detained at for-profit facilities.
Most of these institutions are located in Southern states. While these states are closer to the border and thus may seem a logical location, people may face a more difficult time in court in these states. In addition, there is a shortage of immigration judges to hear cases in some of the states that have seen the greatest increase in the number of people held in detention facilities there.
Immigration detention is a serious concern, especially for people who have been struggling with complications related to their status. An immigration law attorney may help people to challenge deportation or removal attempts and work to remain in the country.