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Immigrants in detention centers may endure sexual abuse

Some people who hope to make a better life in the United States end up in immigration detention facilities. Unfortunately, not every immigrant in Miami is treated with dignity and respect if he or she is put in a detainment center. There have been numerous reports of abuses at several detainment centers across the country, including in Florida. Sadly, this is a situation that many undocumented immigrants face on a daily basis.

According to the National Immigrant Justice Center, a 2010 report by Human Rights Watch claimed that sexual abuse is disturbingly prevalent in detainment centers across the nation. Many victims of sexual violence against immigrants are underage.

The American Civil Liberties Union reported at least 12 allegations of sexual abuse having occurred in immigration detention centers in Florida. Immigration and customs enforcement authorities believe there may be far more incidents of sexual abuse than reported, because many immigrants do not understand their rights and may stay silent out of fear or shame.

Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, prison inmates are to be protected from sexual abuse and other forms of assault. The law takes a zero-tolerance stance against these abuses. The presidential administration has tasked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with giving immigrants in detainment facilities the same protections.

Regardless of a person’s legal immigration status, nobody should be subject to violence or inhumane treatment while in detainment. U.S. immigration laws were put in place to protect human beings from abuse, as well as to give them a chance of legally becoming citizens.

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