Complaints about psychological harm in family detention centers among detained women and children are becoming a bigger issue.
Immigration detention centers for families such as the one located in Dilley, Texas are fully equipped with amenities that are not usually found in many other detention centers. Amenities such as gymnasiums, libraries, and high-tech classrooms are available to the women and children, but as psychologist Luis H. Zayas says, “They have tried to make these places look and feel better but ultimately they are still behind walls and they don’t have freedom.”
There have been ten cases so far that have been reported to the agency’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for investigation. Attorneys who contracted mental health professionals attested to psychological issues among detained women and children such as anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.
The detained mothers describe the fear, uncertainty and lack of control in the detention center to mimic their lives in their home countries and re-experience their trauma day to day.