Louisiana becomes new hub in immigrant detention

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WINNFIELD, La. (AP) - Federal authorities have dramatically expanded the detention of immigrants in Louisiana.

Since last year, eight local jails have started holding asylum seekers and other migrants, making Louisiana an unlikely epicenter for immigrant detention.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it's now detaining about 8,000 migrants in Louisiana out of 51,000 nationally.

These new facilities are a mix of old state prisons and local jails and are several hours away from big cities. They are far from where most immigrants' rights groups and lawyers are based. Migrants have complained of mistreatment and prolonged detention.

ICE refused several requests to comment on why it focused on Louisiana.

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