Elizabeth Detention Center houses nearly 300 immigration detainees, who hail from Central and South America, Cuba, India, Africa and even the former Soviet bloc.
On Wednesday, members of New York and New Jersey’s Congressional delegation toured the center and spoke with over 40 detainees, many of whom said they came seeking political asylum but instead were being treated like criminals.
“And what we found was just about each and every one of them voluntarily gave up their self at the border,” said New York Representative Gregory Meeks.
What they’ve encountered is an overburdened immigration court system bogged down by a backlog of cases that the congressmen say is denying justice to asylum seekers.
“Trump’s administration is appointing the immigration judges, they’re issuing all kinds of executive orders and policy decisions, in my opinion, that are making it virtually impossible for people to seek political asylum,” said Rep. Frank Pallone.