What are the conditions detainees face on Mexican Border?


Why not deport recent immigrants quicker?

There has been a lot of talk lately about immigration and the number of people that cross the US-Mexican border.  What aren’t discussed enough are the conditions in which they are detained.  If you are caught attempting to cross the border illegally you will be detained and processed.  That means you will be photographed, fingerprinted, and your information collected in case you later apply for an immigration benefit. While you are processed you will be detained which can take three or more days.

What are your conditions while being detained?

Spending three days in a holding cell provided by the government can’t be so bad right? Doesn’t our government make sure that everyone is taken care of?  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.  There are no regulations regarding the conditions of these holding cells.  Although, regulation isn’t always the answer to every problem, in this case, regulations can provide a minimum safety conditions to avoid abuse.  The present conditions include:

  • Freezing cold temperatures
  • No access to first aid
  • Overcrowding
  • No beds or blankets
  • Not enough food or water

The sad reality is that these cells are simply not meant to hold people for more than a few hours.  When people are kept overnight they end up sleeping on concrete floors with no bedding or warmth.

How can we improve the conditions?

One way to fix this would be to regulate minimum conditions.

  1. Regulate the number of people per cell, require beds, food, and clothing for those detained; Or
  2. Rather improve a detained person’s condition. How about reducing the number of detentions and time they are detained? I am not suggesting not apprehending those that entered illegally.  Rather, why do they have to spend three days just to be processed?  Have a daily trip to send immigrants back to Mexico and make sure they get processed and released as quickly as possible.

I recognize that there are those who may be detained for significantly more than three days.  For example, those that will claim asylum or some form of relief before an Immigration Judge.  Also, immigrants who entered via Mexico but are not from Mexico will be detained longer while the government gets travel documents to send that person back to their country.  This process provides all the more reason to ensure that our government provides a minimum level of care.

As of now, the conditions these immigrants are forced to endure are simply unacceptable, and something needs to be done in order to ensure that people of all backgrounds receive the treatment they deserve.  After all, convicted murderers in prisons receive beds, exercise equipment, and three square meals a day.  Isn’t it possible that we could offer the same humane treatment for those whose “crime” is seeking a better life?

Free Resources Available for You

If you face an immigration challenge we have some valuable resources for you:

  1. Do You Qualify for Legal Status?  If you aren’t legal in the U.S. you owe it to yourself to find out if you can get legal status.  Select the link, answer the questions, and find out for FREE.
  2. Do You Need an Immigration Attorney? You Might Not – I will explain when you need an immigration attorney.  Not every needs one.  I will also explain the benefits of hiring one in any immigration challenge.
  3. 7 Critical Questions to ask Before Hiring an Immigration Attorney – If you have decided that you need an immigration attorney, how do you make sure you hire a good one?  I explain to you the questions you need to ask before you hire your immigration attorney.
  4. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court – Here I discuss what happens if you get arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement, what you need to know to get out of custody, and what to expect if you are placed in removal hearings.  I also explain the municipal court process and how a municipal court matter can result in your being placed into removal proceedings.

If you have immigration questions, we have answers.  You can,

  1. Call our knowledgeable staff at 888-695-6169;
  2. Fill out our contact us form on this page; or
  3. Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.

We help immigrants, one petition at a time.

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