Opinion: Detention Centers Are Cruel


Photo from the BBC, available under Creative Commons licensing.

There is a serious issue going on and I do not think that it is getting enough attention. Many immigrants have come to the U.S. for a “better place,” but what awaits them is nothing of that sort. I would first like to mention that this topic was taught in class from my Spanish teacher, Mrs. Colón. When she taught this, it seemed as if no one had heard of it. We read a book based on real lives, and also did research. 

Many people will walk hundreds of miles from some Latin American countries to get to the U.S. But after walking all that distance, they come to a wall. Some people come as families, some come as siblings, and some come by themselves. Once you get to this 15-foot wall, the kids are thrown over. It does not matter if they are three years old or if they are 13.

Once they’re in the U.S., they are sent to a detention center, which have cages filled with kids. There are eight-year-olds alone with their baby siblings, teenagers with their own kids. There is nothing to do. Toilets are out in the open. You have the same three meals that leave you hungry every day. You are forced to sleep with the lights on and are woken in the middle of the night every night. Some of these kids do not even have beds. Now imagine all this — but during COVID with no masks or vaccines. People get sick all the time but are not tended to. 

What I am trying to say is that this place is torture. The detention centers were built only to hold kids for a few hours until they found them homes. But some kids have been there since 2020!