Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
One Practice. One Focus. One Passion: Immigration Law.

Immigrant children wrongly held in adult detention facilities

It is claimed that a large number of children are being held in adult detention immigration facilities without parents or older siblings to look after them.  This information apparently has been revealed in released Department of Homeland Security information.  Such a practice is prohibited by federal regulations.

The data states that 1,366 children had been held in adult detention facilities between 2008 and 2012.  A spokesperson for the National Immigrant Justice Center stated: "These children were isolated from access to legal counsel and may have been denied protections under U.S. Law."

The number of undocumented children in this country seems to have rapidly gone up during the last few years. Immigration officials may have attempted to deal with the circumstance merely by placing these youth in adult detention centers. In any case, more and more of these children are arriving in the United States without being accompanied by family members.

Obviously, children held in these facilities cannot afford to wait for Congress to act. One of the great goals of immigration reform is to not tear immigrant families apart, and the number of unaccompanied children detained in adult facilities reminds us as to why specific legislation dealing with the problem needs to be passed.

In the meantime, these children will require the assistance of attorneys and law firms that can provide their services. The services of attorneys are badly needed because immigration laws in California and across the United States are complex. Attorneys can deal with the petitions needed for children to remain with their families or, if necessary, be adopted by families that can take care of them.

Source: Voice of America, “US Reveals It Held Hundreds of Immigrant Kids in Adult Detention,” by Kate Woodsome, June 7, 2013

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