South Carolina residents may be aware that sharp criticism has been leveled at the Department of Homeland Security over conditions in several immigration detention centers. A surge in the number of immigrant families seeking asylum in the United States in recent years has overwhelmed U.S. immigration authorities, and a policy of housing them in mass detention centers was adopted as a short-term solution to the problem. Families are held in these facilities as they wait for their cases to be heard.
Critics of the facilities have claimed that detainees are often denied due process, and the living conditions have also been widely condemned. Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives have joined these critics in calling for the centers to be closed. One of the representatives said that she had recently returned from Jordan. She said that the Jordanian government treats Syrian refugees better than immigration authorities in the United States treat detainees.
The Department of Homeland Security vowed in May to investigate the way that the detention centers operate, but the move has been dismissed as missing the point by critics. They say that poor living conditions are merely a symptom of the root problem of detention. Prior to the recent influx of families from Central and South America, asylum seekers had been permitted to live with relatives in the United States as they awaited an immigration hearing.
Those seeking a new life in the United States are often overwhelmed by the immigration process. The path to residency or citizenship can be a difficult one with strict deadlines and little tolerance for minor mistakes. An experienced immigration attorney could help individuals or families as they seek to navigate this path and may advocate on their behalf in immigration hearings.