Detention: Impact on Children

While being in violation of immigration laws is a civil matter and not a crime; men, women, and children are increasingly being incarcerated for these infractions. Detainees are under the care and jurisdiction of federal officers but since they lack the facilities to hold them they contract with local jails and private for-profit prisons to accommodate over half of those in custody. Since most jails and prisons cannot accommodate children, including nursing infants, they are often taken into state custody. Immigrant detainees are often transferred from state to state which can prevent visitations with children and hinder efforts to gain information on their whereabouts.

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