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Family detention centers are becoming more common

People who come to the United States as immigrants have hopes and dreams of a better life. Those hopes and dreams are sometimes shattered for immigrants who have flocked to this country without going through the proper channels. In the case of immigrants who are fleeing from the violence in Central America, great difficulties might be awaiting them on this side of the border.

Our Texas readers might find it interesting to know that a practice that was nearly abandoned years ago has made a reappearance in our country. Mothers and their children who are coming into the country illegally are being held in settings that are like prison camps. A year ago, there was only one family detention center, but now there are three. The newest one is in Dilley, Texas. A series of 8-person cabins currently hold around 500 people but will hold 2,400 at its full capacity.

Advocates for these immigrants say that abuse and tough conditions aren't suitable for these immigrants who should qualify for asylum. The government, however, seems to have little sympathy and claims that a message needs to be sent that illegal border crossing isn't acceptable.

While the Department of Homeland Security moves forward with the effort to increase the capacity of these family detention centers to accommodate the influx of illegal immigrants, measures increasing the difficulty of seeking safety in the US are being introduced in Congress. The representative sponsoring the legislation wants to show people in Central America that gaming the system isn't going to work.

For people with true fears of going back to their homeland, the U.S. can be a safe haven. Knowing how to pursue the protections that the U.S. has to offer can help you to determine how to proceed with your claims.

Source: Miami Herald, "U.S. considers detaining more mother, child migrants" Franco Ordonez, McClatchy, Feb. 10, 2015

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