ICE Detention Facilities Needs a Reform

The Immigration Crisis is a prominent issue that is headlining the news on the atrocities of how immigrants are living and being treated in ICE detention facilities. To start let us first examine within the Immigration Crisis, ICE facilities and how privately-owned companies/governments treat these immigrants as if they are criminals. Take a moment and close your eyes and picture yourself along with your family and other immigrants walking down a privately-owned prison or wherever you are being held with chains and shackles on your arms and feet as if you were a criminal who committed a crime. These immigrants are treated as criminals when really, they are victims of crime back in their country they are trying to obtain relief from.
In addition, to being handcuffed and shackled these immigrants are residing in prisons. Not local homes, shelters, or a place specifically built for them to reside in, but PRISIONS. Places where murders, rapist, and robbers should be not immigrants who are coming to the United States to get away from these kinds of people in their home countries. Not only that but these immigrants are just trying to provide a better lifestyle for their families.
According to the National Immigration Justice Center on average in November of 2017 majority of these ICE facilities were ran in prisons by privately owned companies. (ICE Released Its Most Comprehensive Immigration Detention Data Yet). These facilities are not being completely overseen nor controlled by the government to ensure protection and safety, but the government is allowing other companies to mistreat these immigrants. Luiselli addresses the issue of how these privately-owned companies make a profit off the immigrants. She went into further detail and explained how these companies make double profit when there are more immigrant children housed in these facilities. (Common Book Discussion) So, instead of the government and privately-owned companies helping these immigrants they just use them to accumulate money and once the immigrants are of no more use, send them back to their crime and poverty-stricken countries.
Another reason I challenge the mindset of corporate leaders and employees of ICE facilities in helping these immigrants is because within the facilities they are not being fed properly. For example, Luiselli in “Tell Me How It Ends” retells the story of a little boy who was in a detention center and how they only fed him small sandwiches and nothing else and that this made his stomach feel empty. (22). Now think back to a time where you were hungry. At this time, you had the accessibility to go find food in your pantry or the luxury of going out to eat for dinner.
However, these immigrants cannot do that they have to rely on the guards to feed them and it is not a guarantee that they will even get fed. The ICE facilities ran by these privately-owned companies need to change how they are treating the immigrants. It would be better for the companies to make sure the immigrants are fed properly rather than the bare minimum, because then privately-owned companies and the employees wouldn’t have blood on their hands.
Moreover, privately-owned companies and employees need to change how ICE facilities are ran because they are separating families from one another. By doing this it puts a strain on families and the bonds they once created amongst each other. No family should ever be split apart especially when children are involved. These children need their parents and they cannot obtain this while being isolated away from their parents. To examine further, why children shouldn’t be separated from their families is because they first learn how to love and communicate within their family dynamic. John Bowlby has scientifically proven that prolonged separation from parents can cause a wide variety of personality disturbances within the children. (The Effects of Mother-Child Separation: A Follow Up Study). Therefore, it is imperative for privately-owned companies and their employees to not separate families, but to allow them to stay together, which will benefit the children and ensure they are healthy physically and mentally.
Instead of using immigrants to make money off them, privately-owned businesses and the employees can use this money to help fund resources for these immigrants. The money earned could go towards lawyers, clothing, food, and other resources to assist these immigrants. In return this publicity would be good for these privately-owned companies. For example, Immigration Advocates Network which is a nonprofit organization helps to raise awareness about the Immigration Crisis. They use their publicity to receive funding from donors and they spread awareness about immigration issues. The money they receive goes towards funding resources for immigrants.
Therefore, these privately-owned companies and their employees can use publicity to receive money and help fund programs for immigrants. It is the privately-owned companies and employee’s social responsibility to ensure the safety and fair treatment of these immigrants while they are under their observation. If these changes are implemented within the facilities it will be beneficial to these privately-owned companies.
Ensuring proper care for the immigrants will keep the companies from having blood on their hands. Also, it will keep privately-owned companies out of the media for bad publicity if stories get leaked out about immigrants dying due to malnourishment. If these privately-owned companies and workers invest in these immigrants, they can end up being an asset to the United States. Lastly, if privately-owned companies allow immigrants to stay together as a family unit, the children will grow up healthy and become an asset to the United States.
Work Cited
STUDY.” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Wiley-Blackwell, 12 July 2011,
Groundbreaking Report Finds Significant Problems with U.S. Treatment of Immigrant Families
in Detention; Report Release February 22, 9:30 a.m. National Press Club – Murrow Room 529 14th St., NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C. (2007). PR Newswire, N/a.
“ICE Released Its Most Comprehensive Immigration Detention Data Yet. It’s Alarming.”
National Immigrant Justice Center,
Luiselli, V. (2017). Tell me how it ends: An essay in forty questions.
Luiselli, Valeria. “Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions.” Common Book
Discussion, 18 November 2018, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Lecture.
“Nonprofit Resource Center.” Latin American Association (Atlanta Office) – National
Immigration Legal Services Directory – Nonprofit Resource Center,