Thursday, March 22, 2007

American Gulag?

Check out this article in my hometown newspaper about the deplorable conditions in a Texas immigration prison. What do you think?


John_Madden said...

Jailing children (9-16yrs) before their minds/personalities have fully developed seems counter-productive. I can’t help but agree with Isenberg’s sentiments about how the “ICE in itself is creating terrorists of the future by jailing kids”. At first I, wrongly, assumed that only Texas/Texans would be stupid enough to jail children, but to my dismay other states are doing it as well. To me, this makes Americans look bad on the international stage. Other nations/countries already view Americans as fat, inhumane, uneducated people leeching off a, seemingly, resource depleted earth and jailing children does not help that image.

In a way, I’m torn. On one hand, I believe that America—in order to maintain its credibility and legitimacy—must take action when “fake passports” are found and confiscated. Then to truly support the notion that ‘everyone is created equal’ must practice the same punishment to all who break the law, regardless of age, sex, race, etc. But then on the other hand, I have a problem with the idea of jailing children.

It seems as if it would be unfair to give the children special treatment, while the adults—presuming they are morally and criminally innocent—spend their time in jail. Perhaps, this alludes to the bigger issue or whether it is morally right to jail immigrants—granted that they are applying for Asylum, withholding of removal, CAT, etc. It seems as if, to me, that if special treatment was awarded to immigrants then public spending would increase and/or some Americans would backlash against the idea causing social unrest.

zain said...

We often claim that children and minors should be detained separately, and not with adults. However, as the article suggests, even the separate detention facilities for minors are not meeting the expected standards of living for detained children. Let us admit, no matter what DHS does to improve the detention facilities for minors, there is so much delegation of power with in the DHS that detention officers can exploit the minor detainees without ant restriction. Sexual exploitation of minors in the detention facilities has become a major problem. Yes, the one year filling deadline does not apply for minors, but still minors are separated from their families, and detained in harsh and inhumane facilities. Imagine living in a jail like facility without your family and that too an alien country where you do not know the language of communication. The only solution that I can think of is that Congress should pass a bill to ensure that each and every child in the DHS detention gets 'pro bono' representation. If such a bill is passed, it might reduce the amount of time a minor spends in detention. What do others think about it? Should we have such a law?