Monday, February 03, 2014

I didn't know …

Did you? Apparently by statute

Congress requires the Department of Homeland Security to hold about 34,000 people a day in centers for detainees facing possible deportation.


Even the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) questions the need to hold all these people. Many people picked up by the immigration authorities are in the middle of regularizing their status or are firmly rooted in their communities, not about to disappear. The Obama administration has directed the ICE to focus only on undocumented persons who have criminal records, not on ordinary workers. But, by law, the ICE must hold 34,000 persons every day.

The Department of Homeland Security estimates it actually needs only about 31,800 detention beds on a typical day to manage the asylum seekers, hardened criminals and terror suspects who await deportation …

But they must hold 34,000 -- by law. Why? Well somebody is making a profit on this travesty:

The detention quota … delivers millions of dollars annually to private prison companies such as Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, which together handle about half of all immigration detainees.

CCA and GEO Group are key players in Washington, spending millions of dollars in the past decade to lobby Congress and contributing to the campaigns of lawmakers who support tough immigration policies.

I've realized the consequence of his policy -- the enforcers need to fill quotas of inmates -- explains why appeals to the ICE to let immigrants out on bail sometimes succeed. Immigration raiders are only grabbing them to keep all 34,000 beds filled.
Last week the Center for Constitutional Rights and Detention Watch Network filed suit against the lock-up quota.
When our government perpetrates injustice, it's not good enough for me to say, I didn't know -- or so I hope I still believe.

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