Barbed Wire-Ringed Prison Detention Center For Immigrants, USA NEWS

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Tucked away in the dense forest of rural Louisiana is a barbed wire-ringed prison that has quickly grown into a major detention center for immigrants detained at the border. The Winn Correctional Center is one of eight Louisiana jails that have started housing asylum seekers and other migrants over the past year, making Louisiana an unlikely epicenter for immigrant detention under President Donald Trump. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it’s now holding about 8,000 migrants in Louisiana out of 51,000 nationally. These new facilities, a mix of old state prisons and local jails, are several hours away from New Orleans and other major cities in the region, far from most immigrant rights’ groups and immigration lawyers. Migrants complain of mistreatment and prolonged detention. “I knew they would detain us, but I never thought it would be for this long,” said Howard Antonio Benavides Jr., an 18-year-old from Venezuela who has been at Winn for three months. The surge in migrant detention has occurred against the backdrop of a criminal justice overhaul in Louisiana that has reduced the state’s prison population and threatened the economies of the small towns that rely on the jails. ICE has stepped into the void. At Winn, which started detaining migrants in May, employee salaries have risen from $10 an hour to $18.50. Local officials have signed contracts that guarantee millions in payments to the local government, the state, and a private prison company based in the state, while still allowing ICE to detain migrants…

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