Attorneys and advocates for mothers, fathers and children residing at the Berks County Residential Center (BCRC) have requested that the attorney general of Pennsylvania investigate the facility to determine if it is unlawfully imprisoning the immigrant children detained there. Immigration advocates call the BCRC a prison and therefore not a suitable place for children. The BCRC is licensed as a Child Residential and Day Treatment Facility and operates as a secure care facility providing shelter for immigrants seeking asylum in the United States.
Immigration advocates take issue with innocent children escaping from persecution in South America and, posing no threat to society, being held in a prison-like detention center for long periods of time while they wait for their cases to make their way through the court system. In addition to posing no threat, advocates argue these children and their parents have an incentive to show up for court dates as they pursue their asylum claims. Thus, advocates argue that detaining them at BCRC for extended periods of time instead of allowing them to remain with family, friends or a more suitable residential facility as they await their fate is inhumane.
Recently, two former residents of the BCRC have petitioned state officials at the Department of Human Services to consider their testimony as the department decides whether or not to renew the BCRC license. Their petitions included examples of “gross negligence and misconduct” by staff with regards to the health and welfare needs of parent and child detainees. Additionally, challenges have been brought forth by attorneys regarding whether the facility is actually in compliance with its current license. They charge that the BCRC is licensed to operate as a residential placement for children unaccompanied by adults but is currently housing families and thus is not in compliance with Pennsylvania state law. It is imperative that these and all immigrants receive proper care and representation in accordance with federal and state standards and laws.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Protect Immigrant Children and Families Seeking Asylum
Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. ensure immigrants seeking asylum or coming to the United States for other reasons have all the proper documentation to legally remain here. We help to make the immigration process easier, less complicated and more successful. We understand your plight and are here to lend a helping hand. If you or a loved one is in need of legal representation for any aspect of immigration law, contact us via our online contact form or call us today at 215-925-4435 for a confidential consultation.