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Immigration detention may affect anyone from lawful permanent residents to recent refugee claimants in the US, because the loopholes that allow the authorities such as the Department of Homeland Security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to arrest immigrants are broad. Traffic stops, home or employment raids as well as criminal convictions can result in an immigrant being detained in jail. According to this report from Amnesty International, officers may just walk up to an immigrant and ask about their status, later detain them in jail, threaten them with deportation and leave them with little chance of getting fair treatment.
According to this article in the New York Daily News, $1.7 billion is spent by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) every year to keep almost 400,000 immigrants detained in jails, using lucrative contracts between ICE and jails.
A recent contract between a jail in New Jersey that is known for poor and unsafe conditions has sparked massive protests from the public, human rights organizations and resulted in online petitions.
According to the article, the jail, the Essex County Correctional Facility, is known for restricting inmates’ access to family and friend visits, consultations with religious figures and lawyers, denial of access to medical services and food safety issues.
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