Kiddie prisons

Are kids with pending immigration cases being treated as prisoners?

Topics: Broadsheet, Immigration, Love and Sex,

The law according to Bush has usually resulted in atrocities in faraway places like Guantánamo but lesser evils like phone-log spying here. But now some of the new policies vis-à-vis cracking down on immigrants are coming home. Tipster Bohica alerted us to new developments concerning the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility in Texas where hundreds of children are being detained with their families pending immigration cases. The facilities are a new invention since the government vowed to end “catch and release” policies in which immigrants rarely showed up for their hearings voluntarily. Complaints about the conditions in the detention center have spawned lawsuits by the Texas ACLU, numerous vigils and, beginning today, a three-week fact-finding mission by Jorge Bustamante, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

You Might Also Like

The complaints against the new detention centers (the government prefers the moniker “residential facility,” although Hutto was originally designed as a prison) are varied — but they amount to one disturbing idea: that we are treating children of all ages (many of whom are U.S. citizens) essentially as prisoners. Initial findings by the ACLU found that the children wore prison garb, received one hour of recreation a day and no formal education, and were kept in small cells 11 to 12 hours each day without food or toys. Other complaints involve psychological abuse, including guards telling children they would be separated from their families if they didn’t stop crying. (For a great Q&A with ACLU’s Lisa Graybill, click here.)

So far, 10 out of the 12 children named in the suits have been released, but the most disturbing part of the story is that these facilities may be a great new business model for the future. Hutto is owned by Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest provider of corrections management services, which today announced a 44.4 percent increase in earnings for the first quarter of 2007 in part as a result of federal revenues “favorably impacted by new contracts from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (‘ICE’) at our T. Don Hutto Residential Center, our Stewart Detention Center and our Eloy Detention Center.” Who ever said illegal immigrants aren’t good for business?

Carol Lloyd is currently at work on a book about the gentrification wars in San Francisco's Mission District.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Michael Ohl/Museum fur Naturkunde

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Soul-Sucking Dementor Wasp

    Latin name: Ampulex dementor

    Truong Ngyuen

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    10,000th reptile species

    Latin name: Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi

    Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Colour-changing thorny frogs

    Latin name: Gracixalus lumarius

    Judith L. Eger

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Long-fanged bat

    Latin name: Hypsugo dolichodon

    Neang Thy Moe/FFI

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Stealthy wolf snake

    Latin name: Lycodon zoosvictoriae

    Michael Janes

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Feathered coral

    Latin name: Ovabunda andamanensis

    Jerome Constant

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    World's second-longest insect

    Phryganistria heusii yentuensis

    Nantasak Pinkaew

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 8

    Latin name: Sirindhornia spp

    Tim Johnson

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 9

    Tylototriton shanorum

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>