Arizona: The Costs of Immigration Detention

Arizona: The Costs of Immigration Detention

Graduate students at Arizona State University have published an in-depth report about true costs of immigration detention in the state of Arizona, as well as the changing face of immigrants in the state of Arizona. The report centers on the infamous Eloy Detention Center, a privately-run immigration detention facility that saw 14 detainee deaths between 2003 and 2015, with five of those deaths attributed to asphyxiation or suicide. The federal government paid this private company $64.47 per day for each detainee in Eloy in 2015. Despite this large amount of revenue, there continue to be constant complaints about the conditions at Eloy. As these students quickly found, the true costs of immigration detention go far beyond dollars. The report consists of various stories, as well as audio and video clips, about all different aspects of immigration enforcement and detention in the United States. As mentioned above, the sheer profit that private prison companies make on the backs of detained immigrants is astounding and only gives prison officials a huge financial incentive to house more immigrants for longer periods of time. At the same time, the turnover rate for private corrections officers continues to be exceedingly high, perhaps due to the relatively low wages that they earn by working long hours in often squalid conditions. Meanwhile legislation in Arizona has increasingly impacted a different demographic of immigrants, or those who have legal status to be in the United States. Immigrants in general are older than in generations past, and, as a result, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other immigration agents now have difficulties in discerning between undocumented and documented immigrants. Additionally, more than half of the detained immigrants at Eloy have never been convicted of a felony offense that would result in jail time. Detention is meant to be temporary and non-punitive in nature, but detention periods tend to last longer than intended, mostly due to delays and backlogs of cases in the immigration court systems. This “temporary” nature of detention in these facilities leads to a lack of adequate health and medical care, even when it is sorely needed. Some detainees languish in detention for years, and may suffer adverse medical conditions as a result. Although immigration detention takes a toll on both finances and people, the Trump administration nonetheless appears to be devoted to filling as many beds at these facilities as possible. We are the California deportation defense lawyers whom you can turn to if you or a loved one are facing deportation proceedings, no matter what the reason may be. Regardless of the complexity or difficulty of the situation, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. has the experience, knowledge, and skills to advocate on behalf of you and your family throughout the course of any deportation proceedings. Contact our office today and let us answer all of your questions about any aspect of deportation proceedings.
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