Essay Sample: The Conditions in Detention Centers at the United States Border

Published: 2023-01-30
Essay Sample: The Conditions in Detention Centers at the United States Border
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Discrimination United States Immigration Social responsibility Social issue
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1540 words
13 min read

The conditions at the detention centers are inhumane. The centers are not sanitary as the migrants' sleep using aluminum foil as the blanket, and they do not shower for days. The detention centers are overcrowded that it forces the immigrants to stand at the detention centers even for a week. The children in the detention centers suffer a lot as they stay there for long periods, and there are not efforts of releasing them and reuniting them with their families. in normal circumstances, the law of the United States prohibits the issue of holding children for over 72 hours in the custody of Border Control (Ataiants et al. 1002). However, these immigrants brought all the troubles to themselves as they are supposed to follow the legal procedures in entering the United States. Even the murders in jail have more rights as compared to immigrants. Even though many people need help, it is better to help a few individuals and find better ways of dealing with the issue instead of leaving them in inhumane conditions. Illegal immigration into the United States of America and eventual arrest by authorities has exposed the immigrant communities to living under unsanitary conditions as well as overcrowding in the detention centers.

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Children and adults have been held for months, weeks, or even days in the cramped cells with no access to toothpaste, soap, shower, or wash their hands (Joung). In some of the centers, children have been sleeping on the concrete floor as adults stand for some days since there is no space. In a space which is supposed to accommodate only 125 individuals, 900 people have been found camped there, which is an indication of the inhumane conditions experienced at the detention centers (Joung). Children drink water from bottles which are not washed, and they do not have enough diapers. Also, they are subjected to temperatures which are extremely cold, and the lights at those centers are usually on 24 hours daily (Joung). The condition has resulted in an outbreak of scabies, lice, flu, and chickenpox. Most of these immigrants flee from violence in the Northern Triangle countries, including Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

The conditions at the prison are better as compared to the detention centers. The prisoners have a right to the services which they are provided. However, for the immigrants, they are not entitled to any rights since they are not United States citizens. The prisoners have good conditions since they have access to beds, water, and good healthcare services. The immigrants crossed the borders illegally meaning that they do not have rights as compared to the other United States, including the ones in prisons. Even though they might have valid reasons for crossing the borders, they need to follow the right procedure to enter the country. Just like their home countries, the United States also have issues that it is battling like improving its economic growth.

Border patrol agents do apprehend people immediately they enter the United States and, on some occasions, hold them in cells called hieleras for processing purposes before they are repatriated or transferred (Riva 310). Even though some of the individuals seeking asylum normally turn themselves to the authorities of the United States, they are placed in similar facilities as individuals crossing the border, and they are exposed to inhumane conditions. Unfortunately, the cells are designed for a short stay as they lack beds. According to the US Border Patrol Policy Detention Standards, the detainees should be granted access to the bathroom with toiletries, drinking water, snacks, and healthcare services (Riva 310). Journalistic and investigative accounts have revealed that the standards do not apply in real life. Overcrowding in the centers has made it impossible for the detainees to move in the toilets or even bathrooms as there is no space. Mothers and children have also been separated for an indefinite amount of time, and there are several cases in which the officers mistreat the women.

The issue of children facing dangerous trips of over 1000 miles in the attempt of coming to the United States is common. In the way, they face several risks, including death, violence, and exploitation. According to Ataiants, Janna et al. (1012), about 75-80% of the children who are not accompanied by the parents are human trafficking victims since they travel into the country with smugglers selling them for purposes of prostitution or forced labor. Most of these children are between the age of 13-17 years, and most of them are mainly boys. In the fiscal year, 2014 and 2016, the number of unaccompanied children in the United States were 70,000 and 60,000 respectively, and the majority come from countries in the Northern Triangle (Ataiants et al. 1012). There are several reasons which make the children flee from their home countries, including uncontrolled and escalating violence. In 2012, Honduras was regarded as the most violent nation globally with 90.4 homicide rate per 100,000 individuals (Ataiants et al. 1012). The other countries with high homicide rates include Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, with 39.9%, 41.2%, and 21.5% (Ataiants et al. 1012). Violence widespread shows how the rights of children to security, life, and safety are abused. The other reasons why unaccompanied children leave their home countries include inadequate educational opportunity, economic opportunity, and poverty.

Even though unaccompanied children have valid reasons for coming to the United States, most of them do believe that they will find greener pastures in the country. However, this is not usually the case as they normally undergo apprehension and screening process in ensuring that they meet the required conditions (Ataiants et al. 1013). Children between the age of 13 and 17 can make decisions on their own, and it means that they deserve the inhumane treatment at the border. They should not be convinced by the smugglers or human traffickers to come to the United States without following the right procedures. Also, most of the countries are current batting violence, and the best way for a child to escape is staying in the home country instead of facing dangerous trips in which they might face death, violence, or exploitation.

Teicher (146) argued that the forcible detention and separation of children from their parents seeking asylum is immoral, and the inhumane conditions make them suffer from trauma. The parents and children flee from their home countries due to trafficking, death threats, and violence. Practically, children do depend on adults for purposes of survival. Also, they can endure hardship in their parents' presence since they feel cared for and protected (Teicher 146). The children are normally exposed to inhumane conditions like violence or rape that makes them have traumatic events. Therefore, removing a child from the parent in a forceful manner is a trauma that can be experienced by a child because it tends to undermine the essential foundation needed for resilience and self-regulation. On the other hand, it is a nightmare for a parent not to know where his or her child is and not given the opportunity of being in contact with them. The children can be further exposed to neurobiological and psychiatric effects due to the exposed conditions.

Although supportive, nurturing, and safe relationships with the actual care providers are essential for children's healthy emotional and physical development, parents should not risk traveling to the united states with the children. Instead, they should stay in their home countries where they know the conditions. Even though many people believe that the United States is a nice country that is not the case as everyone struggles to make a living. The agents at the border are right to separate parents from their children since the conditions at the detention centers are inhumane that the children should not be exposed.

The inmates in the detention facilities are mistreated by the officials. In some cases, the immigrants are housed in different correctional facilities operated by private companies, state, or the federal government. Unless these individuals are granted the right of remaining in the U.S lawfully, released on reasonable supervision or on bond, they do not know the amount of time they will take in the detention centers. The living conditions there are also difficult since they are normally transported in shackles or handcuffs and not allowed to make phone calls.

In conclusion, an illegal entry in the United States and arrest by authorities has exposed the immigrant communities to living under unsanitary conditions and overcrowding in the detention centers. The immigrants do enter the border illegally due to violence, poverty, inadequate economic opportunities, and educational opportunities. However, since these individuals enter the country illegally, they are exposed to inhumane conditions as compared to the prisoners who are legal citizens of U.S. The inhumane conditions which the children and parents are exposed to include poor medical services, overcrowded cells, mistreatment of women, poor living conditions, and separation of children from their parents.

Works Cited

Ataiants, Janna, et al. "Unaccompanied children at the United States border, a human rights crisis that can be addressed with policy change." Journal of immigrant and minority health20.4 (2018): 1000-1010.

Joung, Madeleine. Time, 2019.

Riva, Sara. "Across the border and into the cold: Hieleras and the punishment of asylum-seeking Central American women in the United States." Citizenship studies 21.3 (2017): 309-326.

Teicher, Martin H. "Childhood trauma and the enduring consequences of forcibly separating children from parents at the United States border." BMC medicine 16.1 (2018): 146.

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