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Would immigration detention laws change if more people visited?

Many people in New Jersey and beyond have decried current U.S. immigration laws, citing a need for vast reform. Immigration detention, in particular, is a hot topic that typically finds those who discuss it on opposing sides, some who advocate for changes in support of immigrants and others who think laws should be even more stringent. Actress Alyssa Milano appears to be part of the former group; in fact, she recently uploaded a post on Twitter to her more than three million followers, encouraging every adult in the United States to visit immigration detention facilities.

Milano suggests people show up unannounced at such centers and then request a tour. She says she believes this is the best way to let immigration officials know the general population is watching them. Immigrant advocates who support Milano also say that visiting such facilities is a great way to connect detainees on the inside with the outside world.

Many immigrants suffer from feelings of isolation and loneliness when they are separated from loved ones in immigration detention centers. If more people visited such places, it might help those on the inside alleviate their anxiety and perhaps may even be a way to assist them in tapping into other resources that can help mitigate their circumstances. Milano said many immigration detention centers offer community visits, and that's why officials had to let her in when she paid a surprise visit.

There are numerous reasons why a man, woman or child might be held in a New Jersey immigration detention facility. There are also many reasons why immigration officials might release someone back into his or her community. Often, the latter comes about when an experienced immigration law attorney advocates for release on behalf of a detained immigrant.

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