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What is the future of private immigration detention in California?

Immigration detainees can vary greatly in their situation. For one, they can differ quite a bit in what legal issues are present in their case and what options they have. Immigration lawyers can help individuals here in California who have been brought into immigration detention with addressing their unique legal situation.

Individuals who have been detained in connection to immigration issues can also vary in the kinds of conditions and concerns they are dealing with when in detention. One thing that could impact this is what particular facility they are in.

One way detention centers vary is that some are publicly run, while others are privately run. In recent times, privately run facilities have fallen under criticism in regards to things such as their practices on detainee access to lawyers and the conditions at such centers. This had led some to question whether such facilities should continue to be used for immigration detention.

This year, there has been a fair amount of government activity on the issue of privately run prisons. On the federal level, a couple of months ago, the U.S. Department of Justice said it was beginning the process of getting the department out of the practice of using such prisons.

On the state level, California’s legislature voted on a bill which would have, starting in 2018, banned all cities in the state from forming or renewing contracts with privately run facilities for immigration detention. The bill was passed, but was ultimately vetoed by the governor.

These developments raise a lot of questions regarding the future of private immigration detention in California. One thing that might bring some clarity in this area is what the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ultimately recommends regarding the use of private facilities in immigration detention. It is expected to make such recommendations next month. What happens could influence future state and federal policy regarding this issue. So, it will be very interesting to see what recommendations are ultimately made.

Do you think the use of private facilities in immigration detention should be put to an end here in California?

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “California must wait for federal decision on private prisons,” Bob Egelko, Oct. 9, 2016

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber