In 1995, there were 6,785 immigrants detained in detention centers nationwide. Over the next two decades, the number exploded, more than quadrupling to 34,000 as of 2013.
The boom of the detention network has its roots in the two biggest tragedies caused by terrorism on United States soil. Two federal laws were enacted as a response to the domestic terrorist attack by Timothy McVeigh to a federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The attack came two years after a bombing attack on the World Trade Center in New York by a group of men from Kuwait, Jordan, and Pakistan. Although McVeigh was American, the attack created a climate of fear and uncertainty in America. The new federal laws, among other things, created program 287g, which authorized local police to enforce immigration laws, and expanded mandatory detention.
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