The punitive nature of immigrant detention

Source: Niskanen Center
by Emily van Fossen

“Immigration detention is a separate function from criminal detention because it serves a civil — not criminal — purpose. The Department of Homeland Security — not the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prisons — oversees immigration detention, yet it closely mimics the penal system, resulting in civil confinement conditions that look very similar to punitive ones meant to punish lawbreakers. Nonetheless, civil detainees are not afforded the same rights as alleged criminals in the U.S. The outcome is that many detained immigrants wait for adjudication of their cases under conditions akin to prison confinement while lacking the basic legal protections and due process afforded to all defendants in our criminal justice system.” (08/02/22)