Civil Rights Report Blasts Family Detention Centers For Asylum Seekers

A new report released last week by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, added to the complaints about the U.S. government’s family detention centers that house asylum seekers who entered the country illegally. Reuters is reporting that the group said it found evidence that the federal government “was interfering with the constitutional rights afforded to detained immigrants,” including their access to legal representation.
Reuters offers context: “… a year ago, President Barack Obama responded to a ‘humanitarian crisis’ unfolding on the U.S. southwestern border with Mexico, as tens of thousands of children – some traveling with parents and others alone – arrived from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Among steps he took were a rapid expansion of detention facilities for migrant women and children. It marked a departure from previous practices of largely tracking the immigrants with electronic ankle bracelets and telephone check-ins, which immigration rights groups argued were effective and far less costly.”
Meanwhile, a federal judge in California has ordered the government to close the facilities because they violate a longstanding agreement on how such asylum seekers will be treated. See that story in the L.A. Times here.