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Response to undocumented families: detention, deportation center

Understandably, the high number of immigrants who have come here looking for relief over the past several months has overwhelmed certain government agencies. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seems to have found a solution: the construction of a new detention and deportation center geared toward families. The facility is not in North Carolina, but families living here may worry about the possibility of facing deportation.

The government has contracted with a private for-profit prison company to run a soon-to-be constructed detention center in a border state. The center will be geared toward the detention of families that may then be processed and deported. The facility will reportedly contain beds for approximately 2,400 people with provisions being made for housing children as well as adults. The company running the center has a prior history of operating prisons that allowed the inmate population to be on loan to large corporations that paid the detainees 17 cents per work hour. This particular company reportedly runs 60 prisons and detention centers throughout the country.

The Department of Homeland Security has received a written communication signed by more than 100 different organizations concerned with human rights, denouncing the development of these facilities, stating that placing small children in a prison-like environment is detrimental to their well-being. When this facility is opened, it will almost double the detention capacity in the U.S. for undocumented immigrant families. The company running the center has faced several lawsuits concerning their facilities in other states.

These types of facilities have a history of deplorable conditions and other alleged violations; however, officials have stated that this center will have the appropriate amenities to house and care for children, including play areas and classrooms. It remains to be seen what conditions these families will face along with the impending threat of deportation. North Carolina residents who may be worried about their own order for removal do have certain rights and are entitled to seek information regarding their legal protections and options when it comes to remaining in this country.

Source: wsws.org, "For-profit immigrant family detention center planned in Texas", Kevin Martinez and Jake Dean, Sept. 19, 2014

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