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Privatization of immigration detention challenged

Throughout the nation, a debate about laws and protocols pertaining to detained immigrants is ongoing. This immigration detention issue may impact a number of families in Georgia. Immigration advocates have been very vocal about their opinions on the matter, arguing that immediate change is needed because the current system is unfair toward many detainees.

At the center of the debate is whether privatized immigration detention centers should be shut down. The Homeland Security Advisory Council reportedly plans to review the situation, analyzing everything from policies to fiscal stability. Currently, many detention facilities are run by private, for-profit companies.

Texas has several privatized immigration detention centers. One of those facilities houses at least 2,400 beds, while another is said to have the capacity to handle at least 600 immigrants. An immigrant advocate recently noted that the current state of affairs in many private detention centers is troublesome. Numerous reports of abuse, neglect and poor sanitary conditions have surfaced in the past several years. Another issue seems to be that the training many detention center officers have received may be inadequate.

On several occasions, detainees in immigration detention centers have launched hunger strikes to protest injustices against them. While the majority of private companies say immigrant safety is a top priority, others argue that all privately owned centers should be shut down. Current data indicates that privatized facilities account for at least 60 percent of all detainment beds. Anyone in Georgia facing problems regarding immigration detention can seek professional assistance by contacting an immigration and naturalization attorney.

Source: kiiitv.com, "Privatized immigration detention centers to be focus of federal review", Aug. 30, 2016

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