From Homeland Security NewsWire:
30 May 2014
At least 60,000 undocumented immigrants have worked at federal detention centers while waiting for an immigration court to hear their case, according to the New York Times. Many of the detainees will lose their immigration court cases and be deported from the country. While detained, many immigrants work as cooks and janitors at federal and privately-run detention centers, often making less than $1 a day. The cheap labor saves the federal government and private companies at least $40 million a year by making it unnecessary to pay outside contractors the $7.25 federal minimum wage. [emphasis mine]
“This in essence makes the government, which forbids everyone else from hiring people without documents, the single largest employer of undocumented immigrants in the country,” said Carl Takei, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.
Voxreports that about half of all immigrants in immigration court will win their case, usually the judge rules that the immigrants are actually in the country legally or undocumented immigrants are eligible to apply for some form of legal status, but it is unclear how many immigrants are held in detention centers before their hearings. Some immigrants are allowed to return to their homes but are monitored with an ankle bracelet until their day in court...
For more on how the immigration system works (or not) read here.