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Faith groups protest outside immigration detention center

In Georgia and other states, many women and children are being detained after crossing the borders of United States, seeking asylum. One particular immigration detention center in another state is said to be full of mothers and children who followed all the rules set before them to request asylum; however, instead of receiving the help they needed, they were locked up and detained. Groups of people from varying faith backgrounds recently gathered to protest this situation.

One minister said it is not fair to detain the women and their children because they adhered to the rules given them when they arrived in the United States. Many of the members from the various faith groups have been visiting the children and their mothers at the detention center. The immigrants are said to have come to the United States after fleeing violence in their former homelands. 

Some of the women and children came from Nicaragua, while others emigrated from El Salvador and Guatemala. County officials stated that the Pennsylvania detention facility is designed to house non-violent and non-criminal families involved in immigration proceedings. It is at this center, however, where many of the women staged a hunger strike this past summer, saying they have been wrongfully detained.

It is not the first time the immigration detention facility has been at the center of a controversy. In February 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services revoked the center's operating license. A report stated that from that point on, the center could only operate as a juvenile delinquency facility. The center has appealed the license revocation and the state has permitted it to remain open while the appeal is active. If an immigrant in Georgia wants guidance regarding detention facilities and any particular immigration situation, he or she could do so by contacting an immigration and naturalization law office in the area.

Source: wfmz.com, "Interfaith vigil held at Berks County immigration detention center", Maria Salazar, Sept. 7, 2016

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