i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

End Obama's Immigration Imprisonment Quotas

president barack obama's 2015 budget requests a dangerous and wasteful policy indiscriminately warehousing immigrants into private prisons. immigrants who've committed no crimes, or only minor crimes, are put in prisons to meet an arbitrary immigrant body count quota passed by the house of representatives in 2006.

immigration and customs officials (ice) have a sick incentive to give billions of dollars away to private prison corporations, patrol latinos in border communities and rip immigration families apart. but obama can end this racist initiative by promptly removing it from his budget - demonstrating his care and concern for all americans. 

some people call it the "bed mandate." others call it the immigration imprisonment quote. ice is required to hold at least 34,000 immigrants each day in private detention centers. the quota is the primary reason so many immigrants who haven't committed any crimes are arrested and detained by ice.

it costs $160 each day, or $2 billion per year, to put someone in a private detention center. private prison companies like the geo group benefit from the dehumanization of proud latino communities. however, alternatives to incarceration cost as little as $17 per day, they're progressive and they keep families unified while they wait for their due process.  

in september of this year, 65 members of the house sent the president a letter opposing his policy. entitled, letter to president obama - end immigration detention bed mandate debate, they urge him to remove a budget request for the department of homeland security (dhs) mandating ice have over 30,000 immigrants in detention at all times.

illinois congressman bill foster said, "mandatory detention comes at a high cost both for taxpayers and immigrant families who are needlessly torn apart. not only is the quota fiscally irresponsible, but it makes it impossible for dhs to make rational decisions about detention based on enforcement priorities and needs. it is time to end this costly and unjust practice."

florida congressman ted deutch said, "it would be unimaginable for congress to mandate to other law enforcement agencies how many people they must jail on a daily basis, but that is exactly what this detention bed mandate does to ice. it is time to bring ice offices across the country in line with the best practices of other law enforcement agencies, which apprehend and detain individuals based on actual needs as opposed to a mandate from washington."

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