Report: Federal Government Locks Children in Adult Immigration Detention

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 New federal data released today by an advocacy group reveals that in the last four years, at least 1,366 kids were locked up in adult immigration detention centers for more than three days. The majority were held in the jails for more than a week and 15 for more than six months. Federal rules require that minors be released from the facilities in less than three days.

The data, obtained by the National Immigrant Justice Center, a Chicago-based non-profit, comes as Congress considers a number of reforms to the immigration detention system as part of the Senate’s immigration reform bill. The detention of minors is presumed already to be unlawful becuse of a 1997 legal settlement and the immigation agency’s own protocols.

Many of the young immigrants in the facilities were held in privately operated facilities or county jails that have contacts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. More than 900 of those detained were 17-years-old and an additional 400 were 15 or 16 years old. Two of the detained children were under the age of ten. Read more here.