An immigrant died after six months in the custody of
An immigrant died after six months in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in Georgia. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement / HO

Immigrant detention in Georgia witnessed a surge of more than 50%, as per an analysis of federal data by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).

The United States detained 2,408 immigrants by mid-May, marking around a 54% increase compared to May 2023. Georgia has the fifth-largest number of people in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention among states, while among non-border states, only Louisiana has more, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Last year about 21,300 people were in immigrant detention across the United States, but a year later, the number has increased to about 36,500, marking a 70% surge. In the last year, the country saw some of the highest recorded numbers of illegal border crossings from Mexico.

Lumpkin-based attorney Marty Rosenbluth explained that people arrested at the border are sent for detention depending on where capacity is available. However, he also noted that Stewart Detention Center located in Georgia is one of the worst.

"It can seem really random. It's a question of where they have empty beds," Rosenbluth said, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"If I wanted to be cynical, I would say that they send people to Stewart because it has one of the lowest asylum grant rates in the country. And they know it," he added. "They know it's a really bad detention center where people, you know, very often would prefer to be deported than to spend five more minutes here."

Most of Georgia's immigrant detainees are held at Stewart Detention Center, which is run by the private prison company CoreCivic. On average, it consists of 1,528 detainees per day as of May 2024, according to TRAC.

Stewart is the third-largest immigrant detention center in the U.S. and the largest outside of Texas. It can hold over 1,900 people in total.

Rosenbluth emphasized that the immigration detention in Georgia will not just "expand" but "explode" in the coming years. Last month, Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp signed a bill into law that would allow local law enforcement and federal immigration officials to collaborate closely.

The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General stated in a report last week that DHS has not been effectively screening and checking non-citizens and asylum seekers who are coming to the United States.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.