The Horror of a Family Detention Center

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I thought I'd post another video today to watch over the weekend.  It's from our friends over at the T. Don Hutto Blog, and it really brings to light the horror of this family detention center.  I wrote about this facility some time ago.  Remember, this facility is located in a privileged nation.

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George said:

I'm having problems with my video viewer, so I can't comment on them. However, I have heard of this place, and what I've heard, although disturbing for some isolated incidents, it hardly rates the word "horror." And in comparison to Mexico's treatment of its illegal immigrants, this facility is hardly rates the hyperbole that you are inclined towards expressing. Maybe you'll do some detailed analysis of how Central/South American families are treated by Mexican authorities. I know that as humanitarians we're all interested in every country's mistreatment of migrants. As to a Mexican national investigating US transgressions related to immigration, it's a bit hypocritical and insulting to have Mr. Bustamente investigate a US facility when his country has much to answer for in the treatment of its migrants. It's as though a Libyan member of the UN human rights commission participated in an investigation of Israel's transgressions. I suspect that this was how the State Department viewed Mr. Bustamente's visit.

What do you advise we do with these people? We had catch and release but few migrants kept their solemn word that they would appear for their hearings. Do you have any suggestions that wouldn't result the migrant absconding or bankrupting our treasury?

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

Hey George,

I appreciate you try to arrive at a solution in this comment, but you do raise some points that I have answered in previous comments of yours, I think. To argue that Mexico mistreats Central American migrants doesn't make much sense since Mexico's harsh laws against migrants are largely the result of U.S. lobbying before NAFTA. For more information on this see National Geographic's the "Undocumented Documentary".

In this documentary they talk about how the vast majority of migrants show up for their court dates, especially those with a family since it doesn't make much sense for them to live in the shadows. The suggestion I would have for migrant families, as they suggest in this video, is to have them under supervised care in a home, not a prison. This costs much less and is much more humane in my opinion, and there are places where this is done effectively.

Right now, by supporting a facility like this we're paying the largest prison corporation in the U.S., the Corrections Corporation of America, and they're charging $200/day for every person in that prison. Again the video says we can house them in a Hilton Hotel for that kind of money.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, George. I appreciate your thoughts but I can't help but feel that you don't want to be part of this Citizen Orange community. You're viewpoints are welcome, I just need a little more give and take from you, I spend a lot of time responding to your comments.

George said:

"...doesn't make much sense since Mexico's harsh laws against migrants are largely the result of U.S. lobbying before NAFTA."

We've heard that while Mexican immigration officers offer better treatment than their police, it's the latter that are said to be corrupt, stealing the last peso, beating and sometimes raping the migrant. Moreover, it's the police that the migrants are more likely to encounter, as their number is far greater. I sincerely doubt that our government has advocated Mexican brutalization of these migrants as policy, despite our insistance that Mexico do more to prevent illegal immigration. If migrants are being brutalized by Mexicans, the Mexican authorities are responsible, not the U.S.

Since Mexico is a sovereign democracy, how is it that their government cannot be held accountable for signing NAFTA? If NAFTA is hurting Mexico, why doesn't Mexico's government just abrogate the treaty, as it is certainly within their power to do so? It seems to me that it's rather patronizing to put the socioeconomic problems entirely on the U.S. when it's up to Mexico's government to serve its people responsibly.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

You see, George, I've seen the police that you speak of with my own eyes. I've even been roughed up by them. I can tell you, that while there are predatory police, the vast majority of them would rather not be sending migrants back home. Same as there is predation on migrants in the U.S. It's not a question of whether it's policy or not, it's a question of what happens when you make a population of migrants vulnerable.

I would never argue that the U.S. is entirely responsible for anything that another country does, but it is important that the U.S. take some responsibility for what's happening. You see, when you dangle an economic carrot like NAFTA in front of Mexico's nose, and the U.S. lobbies for Mexico to stop Central American migrants from going through, you can't seriously make the argument that Mexico has a responsibility to stop that. You see, if you were familiar with global dynamics you would know about the unequal power imbalance associated with bilateral trade agreements. When given the chance to negotiate as a bloc, the majority world actually is able to fight for its interests, and that's why WTO talks have stalled for the last years.

But George, there were a lot of other things that I referred to in my previous post that you have not answered. We could spend all day nitpicking at each other's arguments. I've written about this subject for years now, and while I appreciate people like yourself to keep me honest, and you have made very reasonable arguments up to this point, I need you to start working with me to find some common ground, or else I will just have to conclude that it's not worth my time to engage with you.

I need you to offer up solutions and where you think we can agree, if not, than I'm just going to stop responding to you.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on February 29, 2008 1:05 PM.

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