I toured an immigration detention center. The prison-like atmosphere was mind-numbing.

Stacy Brustin, Opinion contributor Published 4:00 a.m. ET May 16, 2019

Immigration detention is supposed to be a temporary stop — not an endless jail sentence with the goal of causing migrants to self-deport.

Immigration detention is supposed to be a temporary stop, not a prison. But what else can one call a place with razor wire covered fences, holding cells, head counts, locked dormitories, solitary confinement, limited recreation, inadequate mental health services and no-contact visits?

While visiting the New Mexico border area as volunteers with Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services of Southern New Mexico in March, a group of undergraduates, three law students, a campus minister and I toured the Otero County Processing Center. Management & Training Corp. (MTC) runs the facility for the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement service.

A smiling ICE officer greeted us


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