Category: News

Photo by Ed Kashi / VII. Abu Bakar, originally from Sierra Leone, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 12, 2017. Abu was a former detainee at Elizabeth Detention Center, Bucks County Prison, Allentown Prison for 3 years and was part of a lawsuit against the Esmor Corporation, a private company that ran the immigrant detention facility at the time he was detained.

Today we’re featuring Ed Kashi’s new project on immigrant detention.

“Immigrant detention,” Ed writes, “is prison by any other name. There are currently over 33,000 beds in private and public facilities – paid for with taxpayer dollars – that have to be filled daily to justify the expense. Since 1996, the U.S. has followed a policy of mandatory detention for all asylum seekers, meaning they are placed in handcuffs at the airport and expedited to a nearby facility so that they never technically touch U.S. soil. The 1996 law also mandates deportation for people convicted of certain criminal acts, many of them nonviolent offenses. Once people enter detention, they can be held indefinitely with limited access to communication and legal representation. Immigration courts are so backlogged that as of April 2017, there were 585,930 people waiting for a decision, with an average wait time of 670 days.”

View the project

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