Immigration detention is a massive barrier to justice

Since immigration litigation is a civil matter, many of the constitutional protections that extend to criminal proceedings do not apply to those held in immigration detention. Most of us are accustomed to the idea that people are innocent until proven guilty, that the prosecution bears the burden of proof, that the court will appoint an attorney of the defendant cannot afford one, and that a person has a right to a speedy trial. While those protections extend to criminal matters, they do not apply to civil immigration matters.

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Immigration detention facilities in New Mexico are particularly problematic

The United State Commission on Civil Rights determined that ICE and ICE contractor immigration detention facilities are punitive and abusive. New Mexico is host to two ICE immigration detention centers both of which are managed by large private prison corporations: Core Civic owns and manages Cibola County Correctional Center (CCCC) in Milan while Management and Training Corporation (MTC) manages the Otero County Processing Center (OCPC) in Chaparral. Government and advocacy reports indicate that these facilities are particularly problematic.

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Incarceration facilities don’t make for sound rural development

The belief that placing incarceration facilities in rural areas stimulates local rural economies is a myth that was developed and perpetuated during the prison boom of the 1980s-1990s. Quantitative and demographic studies show that prison hosting, and by extension immigration detention center hosing, is a strain on local economies. All across the US, prison hosting raises unemployment in small towns and rural communities.

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ICE permits and encourages unfair labor practices at immigration detention centers in New Mexico

Individuals held in immigration detention typically do not have work authorization. However, ICE detention standard 5.8 defines a “Voluntary Work Program” whereby detained individuals can earn a minimum of $1 per eight our work day.1 On 21 December 2017 “a majority of the USCCR voted to call on Congress to investigate alleged abusive labor practices at government- and privately-operated immigration detention centers and require fair wages for all detainees”2

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