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Detention Basics

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA chaplaincy programs provide pastoral and religious assistance to meet the needs of non-citizens detained by the Department of Homeland Security in U.S. federal detention centers and a Los Angeles County detention center. 

Department of Homeland Security Detention

If you are a chaplain or volunteer unfamiliar with immigration detention in the U.S., the Structure of Federal Immigration Detention and Immigration Terminology and Acronyms will give you a basic understanding of the Department of Homeland Security and its immigration detention practices.

Ensuring Access

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA believes that ensuring detainee access to a Religious Service Program (RSP) is crucially important because detainees have a fundamental right to freedom and exercise of religion. Freedom and Exercise of Religion – A Basic Human Right outlines the legal basis for accommodating the religious rights of immigration detainees. Detainee Spiritual and Religious Needs affirms that pastoral care and religious assistance address crucial personal obligations that do not cease for detainees simply because of their detention. The hope is that you will understand our special concern for ensuring detainee access to religious services.


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Detainee Spiritual & Religious Needs
Monday, February 01, 2010
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA administers Religious Services Programs (RSPs) that provide pastoral and religious assistance to meet the needs of non-citizens detained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These programs enable people of all faiths to have access to pastoral care and religious activities within their faith traditions.
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Freedom and Exercise of Religion — A Basic Human Right
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The freedom of religion and the right to practice one’s faith is a basic human right. Many immigrants held in detention greatly value their faith and the ability to practice it. Religious Services Programs facilitate detainees’ freedom and exercise of religion within DHS facilities.
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Immigration Terminology & Acronyms
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
The following are terms and acronyms commonly used when discussing immigration in the United States.
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Structure of Federal Immigration Detention
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has the authority to detain and remove immigrants for violating administrative immigration law. ICE operates over 300 detention facilities making it the largest detention system in the United States.
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