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Trouble brewing in an immigration detention facility

Many New Jersey residents are immigrants who have been granted permission to live and work in the United States through the asylum process. Immigration laws are complex and it is not uncommon for men and women seeking asylum to encounter challenges in the process. However, a 25-year-old man in another state who sought protection in this country after fleeing gang violence in his country of origin says he never thought he'd have to face perpetual hunger and other problems he's had since being detained.

The man is currently being held in a detention facility on the West Coast that is privately owned. He says the minimal amount of food his captors were giving him left him in a constant state of hunger. He learned that he was allowed to work in the prison's kitchen to earn income and commissary shopping privileges, so he jumped at the chance.

Things apparently did not go as he'd hoped. He says the $1 per day he earns on the job is not enough to buy food or other supplies at the commissary, where costs equate to three or more days' work for a can of tuna or some deodorant. Immigrant advocates who have spoken out about the problem (as it seems this particular privately-run detention facility is not the only one where such issues exist) claim officials are purposely giving detainees skimpy amounts of food in order to lure them into labor positions where they earn minimal pay, which helps prison administrators keep operating costs low and profits, high.

An immigration detention spokesperson said food amounts provided to detainees are mandated by the federal government and the facility in question is merely adhering to regulations. There may be people in New Jersey currently facing similar immigration problems. Any man or woman seeking support to help rectify a problem situation in detention  may request consultation with an experienced immigration and naturalization law attorney.

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