Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Imagine your city council telling the police department how many people it had to keep in jail each night.
That's effectively what Congress has told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with a policy known as the "detention bed mandate." The mandate calls for filling 34,000 beds in some 250 facilities across the country, per day, with immigrant detainees.
When NPR visited the Department of Homeland Security's detention center in Florence, Ariz., hundreds of men — nearly all from Latin America — were lining up for lunch. They were caught by the Border Patrol or, if apprehended away from the border, by local police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. People can stay behind the razor-wire fences for days, weeks or years.
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