policy is detrimental to the survival of people forced to work
undocumented in this country due to the devastating impacts of global
neo-liberal economic policies. With only slight changes made, Senate
Democrats, who far outnumber Republicans Lees, Tisei, Tarr, et al,
showed themselves again willing to join in violations of human rights.
Like other such laws and
policies, these amendments appear intended for repressive use and will
likely lead to an increased rate of immigrant detention/imprisonment.
Manufactured overcrowding fueling current jail and prison expansion can
be traced to a multiplicity of causes (more on that in a future
communiqué), however, INS/BICE detention is the "fastest growing prison
program in the U.S."
Overcrowding is a
rationale commonly used by those in the punishment industry, in
combination with manufactured hysteria about "dangerous criminals".
Overcrowding is caused by laws and policies. For example, when the new
Chicopee women’s jail was proposed, sweeps of sex workers in the
Springfield area increased.
The failed "War on Drugs"
and "War on Terror", joined by an escalating "War on Immigrants" are
creating a synergy, a situation whereby each gains momentum from the
existence of the other. We've got to step up our fight NOW to have a
chance to head this off.
Please act Now! Tell your
legislators to oppose these amendments AND jail and prison expansion.
For Peace and Justice,
For more information
"Aliens", lawful permanent
residents (LPRs), refugees, asylum seekers, and visa holders with valid
immigration status are in detention. (reported in the June 29, 2005,
National Lawyers Guild report "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor... : A
Report on Due Process Issues in the Handling of Immigration Detainees in
The average time in the
United States prior to detention was just over 10 years. (NLG report)
On January 24, 2006 a
$385,000/6,700 'bed' contract was awarded to Halliburton subsidiary KBR
to provide for "establishing temporary detention and processing
capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations
Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants
into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
On May 19th, AP
'journalist' Lara Jakes Jordan reported that Homeland Security seeks
funding for "nearly 35,000 more jail beds to end a much-criticized
"catch and release" program for dangerous illegal immigrants in the
While it is difficult to
calculate how many detentions/deportations are due to non-violent crime
charges or convictions, "because some of the records simply stated
"criminal conviction" as the grounds for deportation. A conservative
estimate is that the majority of cases involved some sort of non-violent
crime conviction because violent crime convictions are usually treated
by the court in a serious manner, which would be easy to note by a [NLG]
court observer." (NLG report)
On May 2nd, 2006,
Middlesex County Sheriff DiPaola testified at annual capital spending
hearings on Beacon Hill that his department has talked with the state
Division of Capital Asset Management about building a jail. DiPaola
asked lawmakers to consider a $63 million request to lease "podular"
housing units for three years, to be placed at the Billerica House of
Correction, while a permanent site for a new jail is being sought.
(Information reported by the Boston Globe and State House News Wire, and
by the Sheriff in a May 24th State House briefing for Middlesex
legislators.) For more on jails in Somerville, The Bridge,
Detention Centers where
Boston Immigration Court can order detainees held – Boston, Greenfield,
Dedham, North Dartmouth, Plymouth, Brentwood NH, Goffstown NH, Dover NH,
Central Falls RI, Newton CT, Hartford CT, Somers CT, Niantic CT. (NLG
The Chicopee Women's Jail
will lease 115 beds to the feds for the detention of immigrants.
As well, anecdotal
information from eyewitness reports back up claims of increased law
enforcement sweeps and a concurrent rise in numbers of immigrant