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Man turns immigration detention release into profitable business

Many people who come to live in Georgia from abroad are instead taken into federal custody. Immigration detention centers are filled with those whose eligibility to reside in the United States has been called into question. Often, immigrants are granted release by bond while they await proceedings to determine whether they will be deported.

Many detainees simply cannot afford their bonds. One man in another state who calls himself an immigrant advocate has built a profitable business out of entering contracts with such immigrants wherein their bonds will be paid and they will be temporarily set free to await their days in court. The agreements between the immigrants and the man's company include several stipulations that have raised questions as to whether his business is actually helping his clients or taking advantage of them.

One of the things detained immigrants must agree to do when using the so-called services provided by the man's company is wear ankle bracelets that track their whereabouts. One young woman who agreed to the terms recently said she was told she would have to pay almost $4,000 if the ankle bracelet were to become damaged in any way. Those who question the integrity of the company have mentioned that this amount is nearly three times what it generally costs to replace such devices. 

The woman (who was 19 when she fled El Salvador in fear for her life) was detained in 2014 and could not afford her $15,000 bond. Her mother is said to have borrowed $4,000 as a down payment to Libre by Nexus, the company that provides immigration detention release services. The woman now says she often has no money to buy food because her monthly payments to the company are so high and she lives in constant fear that she will be sent back to the immigration detention center if she fails to make a payment. Anyone in Georgia facing similar circumstances may seek guidance from an immigration and naturalization attorney.

Source: motherjones.com, "Getting Immigrants Out of Detention Is Very Profitable", Steve Fisher, Accessed on Sept. 21, 2016

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