For some immigrant kids, claiming asylum leads to indefinite detention in Pennsylvania

Listen 17:59
 FILE- In this Aug. 15, 2017, file photo, a woman holds up a signs in support of the Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during an immigration reform rally at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

FILE- In this Aug. 15, 2017, file photo, a woman holds up a signs in support of the Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during an immigration reform rally at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

If immigrants claim they’re afraid to return to their home countries, federal detention facilities can hold them, at times indefinitely, while authorities decide their cases.

WHYY reporter Laura Benshoff brings us the story of a mother and son who spent nearly half the child’s life under lock and key. Benshoff has followed them and other families in detention to try to understand why Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds kids for months, sometimes years, even though it’s technically illegal.

This story was produced in partnership with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit news organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at revealnews.org and subscribe to the Reveal podcast, produced with PRX, at revealnews.org/podcast.

The full episode that this segment was originally a part of can be heard here.

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