In the United States, there are more than 180 immigration detention centers. Thousands of detainees can be held in one single facility at any given time and the people who are being held typically have a very mixed background. Some people have criminal records while others do not. It is unfortunate, but true that abuse does occur inside these immigration detention centers in the form of sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse and mental abuse. There are some steps that can and should be taken if a relative claims they have been abused while in an immigration detention center.
Who Has Done It?
In the majority of immigration detention centers in the U.S., men and women are kept separate. There are a few locations that allow men and women to be mixed together, however. The potential for abuse can come from staff inside a facility, but there are also times where abuse can occur between detainees. If a staff member of the facility has perpetrated the abuse, find out who that individual is and any pertinent information about that person with assistance from the detention center. Unfortunately, the facility might not be helpful if they find out there are abuse allegations and a legal representative will need to find out more on your behalf.
Is The Relative Still In The Facility?
If your relative has informed you they have been abused while in a facility, there are factors to consider if they are still in the facility. If they have since been let go out of the location, they are likely now safe and legal proceedings can occur. If they still remain in holding, a request needs to be made to transfer them to another facility or for special attention to be paid to keeping your relative safe and sound.
Obtaining A Bond
The only two parties that can issue a bond within an immigration facility are the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers or an immigration judge. If the victim has a criminal record, this process will be substantially more difficult, but people with no criminal record can attempt the process. However, even if the individual has been convicted, if abuse has occurred, consider seeking an attorney to help with this process; it is not impossible for the individual to be released on bond with special conditions, like an ankle monitor. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not issue a bond without action from the detainee and when action takes place a bond amount will be set in return for an appearance in court.
If a relative has claimed they have suffered abuse in an immigration detention center, finding a legal representative who is experienced with these kinds of issues is important. Contact Cindy Goodman at Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas. With experience as a Special Assistant US Attorney at the Department of Justice and as an Assistant County Attorney to Potter County, as well as experience with Homeland Security and as a private bar immigration attorney, she can handle any immigration case.