The fight for immigration reform in America is not as easy as it seems. Immigration, is a hydra headed monster, and the ills associated with it cannot be wiped away by a single stroke of the President’s pen guaranteeing safety and national recognition to the millions of the illegal immigrants currently residing in the country. It is sad to see political parties use the issue of immigration for their own good, but there’s an even more disgusting aspect to this―detention facilities where illegal immigrants are locked up, solely for corporate profit.
But is there a reason why this occurs?
Turning a Blind Eye
In the US, unaccompanied immigrant children come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services. Undocumented children who are caught along with adults in tow are taken care of by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The normal procedure is that these children are then detained along with their guardians in facilities that are run by private prison companies, even when immigration attorneys and human rights advocates say that there are more humane solutions to solving the problem then incarcerating them.
The companies that run these prisons have expertise in building prisons for adult offenders, not for children in their tender years whose parents chose take them illegally to another country. Immigration lawyers say that state child-welfare authorities routinely turn a blind eye to these prisons and the wrongs that go on behind their walls. There is no licensing programs or monitoring procedures for such private cells even though they house children and even though the crime of illegal immigration is a civil, and not a criminal offense in the country.
3 New Detention Centers This Year
This year, the US saw a historic influx of undocumented immigrant families. To house them, the authorities decided to put up three new ‘family detention centers’ in a matter of months. Two of these centers are in Texas while one―which is also the largest immigration detention center in the country―is in Dilley. The Karnes City detention center in Texas, run by the GEO Group, has already come under the scanner for alleged women rights violations. Prison guards at the center have been accused of molesting and sexually assaulting female detainees in front of their own children.
This is terrible while many people believe these illegal criminals should be deported since America has enough unskilled labor.
The second facility in Taylor Texas, which is run by the CCA group, is no better. It was stopped from acting as a family detention center in 2009 after a long litany of lawsuits that alleged the staff of committing civil rights violations. The center is now a female-detainees only hold-all but it is obvious that it is not the perfect haven it is made out to be.
Family Facilities that Act Like Prisons
The corporations that run these prisons like to call them “family facilities” but the inhabitants here are still locked in their cells at 10 every night. This is because they are illegal and it saves money because less guards are required to monitor them.
Immigration advocates have repeatedly said that non-profit run shelter programs are a better way of housing immigrants awaiting trials. But these are the same people who do not support securing the southern border which would prevent all this from happening in the first place.