president donald trump promised to deport upwards of two million immigrants upon taking office. last week, a series of high-profile crackdowns put the country on alert. but when trump issued two major executive orders regarding immigration, the pending arrests and deportations struck fear into brown families.
in the same executive order calling for construction of a southern border wall, trump instructed immigration and custom enforcement (ice) to build out its sprawling network of immigration detention centers.
trump's executive order said starting "immediately," ice should construct new facilities, lease space for immigrants alongside inmates in existing local jails, and sign new contracts. these contacts are most likely to go to private prison companies.
in late january, a memo to top homeland security officials called for raising the number of immigrants ice incarcerates daily to 80,000 people. the number of detainees held daily - between 31,000 and 34,000 - reached a historic high of 41,000 last fall. ice detained over 352,000 people last year.
carl takei, staff attorney for the aclu's national prison project, said doubling the daily capacity to 80,000 "would require ice to sprint to add more capacity than the agency has ever added in its entire history." and, takei warned, "we don't know if 80,00 if where he'll stop." detention experts have estimated it would take an extra $2 billion in government funding annually.
the private prison giant corecivic (formerly known as the corrections corporation of america) sees the expansion as a business opportunity. corcecivic president and ceo damon hininger said, "when coupled with the above average rate of crossings along the southwest border, these executive orders appear likely to significantly increase the need for safe, humane and appropriate detention bed capacity that we have available."
another private prison company, management & training corporation, reportedly wants a contract with ice to reopen the willacy county correctional institution. this facility, known as a 'troubled detention camp,' held up to 2,000 ice detainees in kevlar tents between 2006 and 2011.
margo schlanger, a former obama administration official who served as homeland security's top authority on civil rights, opposes trump's bigoted initiatives. schlanger is deeply concerned about the improper oversight and potential overuse of inadequate safety measures, insufficient medical care, poor nutrition and solitary confinement.
schlanger said, "there are a lot of bad things that happen if the number of beds is ramped up fast, without appropriate controls, monitoring, supervision and care...that means detainees could die... you're vulnerable to the government saying to you, look, we'll let you out from detention, but you have to give up your immigration case."
- mark j. tuggle
- 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. firstname.lastname@example.org.