Between a Detention Center and a Home of One’s Own

In Chicago, a few undocumented immigrants find shelter and work as they wait, sometimes years, for a court date.

Men sit in the sun in a room for mental health patients in the health ward at the Otay Mesa immigration detention center Wednesday, May 26, 2010 in San Diego. Dr. David Rutstein, the acting deputy surgeon general, said Wednesday he was impressed by the medical services he saw delivered at the often-critizcized immigration detention center in San Diego, but says he didn't learn enough to say whether complaints about the facility are justified. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

CHICAGO—Immigration detention centers here in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin are inundated. In three county jails originally for local criminals, nearly 600 undocumented immigrants are locked up, waiting for court hearings that may be as many as three years down the road. They can’t leave—bail for release costs anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000, an amount few have—and following an influx of unaccompanied minors in recent years and the retirements of several local immigration judges, there just aren’t enough people to process all the claims. READ the article in its entirety.