Challenging Immigration Detention
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Challenging Immigration Detention

Academics, Activists and Policy-makers

Edited by Michael J. Flynn and Matthew B. Flynn

Immigration detention is an important global phenomenon increasingly practiced by states across the world in which human rights violations are commonplace. Challenging Immigration Detention introduces readers to various disciplines that have addressed immigration detention in recent years and how these experts have sought to challenge underlying causes and justifications for detention regimes. Contributors provide an overview of the key issues addressed in their disciplines, discuss key points of contention, and seek out linkages and interactions with experts from other fields.
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Chapter 2: Women and children first: an inside look at the challenges to reforming family detention in the United States

Dora Schriro


The US immigration system has long struggled with the practice of detaining immigrant families and many reform efforts have been thwarted repeatedly and others have fallen short of their anticipated outcomes. The chapter provides an inside look at how policymakers early in the Obama administration sought to roll back family detention and the fate of those efforts. It examines ambitious early reform efforts and subsequent challenges that spurred the administration to pursue more restrictive measures and significantly ramp up family detention. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the reasons for the rapid reversal of previous reforms and provides recommendations on how to reverse current trends. The need for renewed reform efforts is all the more acute under the Trump administration, which seeks to rapidly expand the country’s deportation system.

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