Maria Hinojosa's documentary -- Lost in Detention -- airs Tuesday, October 18th on the PBS series, Frontline. From the press release:
Hinojosa tracks the enforcement sweep from the neighborhoods of Illinois to the expansive Willacy Detention Center in south Texas. Immigration detention has become both a vital tool and a lightning rod for the administration’s immigration strategy.
Using a network of 250 detention facilities across the country, ICE is able to ensure that undocumented immigrants will not slip back into the population in a game of “catch and release,” says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “That’s unacceptable if you’re going to have an immigration system that is taken seriously—seriously by the public or seriously by the illegal immigrants themselves.”
During a yearlong investigation, FRONTLINE uncovered a troubling picture of abuse inside immigration detention facilities, including more than a dozen allegations of sexual abuse at Willacy, as well as alleged cases of beatings, racism and management cover-ups. Dr. Twana Cooks-Allen, former mental health coordinator at Willacy, told Hinojosa that the detainees she saw inside were not the border-crossers who she expected. “They were people who had been established, who had children here, who had businesses, who had attended school.”