Immigration Detention is an extension of Mass Incarceration: Another public health battle

We are engaged in battle with our current leaders on too many public health issues; climate change, health care coverage and environmental injustice, just to name a few. However, the greatest health threat, continues to grow and it has been one of the hardest to fight and challenge; Immigration Detention and Mass Incarceration. Incarceration and detention  are a form of social and psychological warfare on specific groups of people, it disrupts family dynamics and steals from communities.
Recent attacks on immigration and so-called "immigration reform” or "ICE raids" are not merely because of the Trump presidency. These aggressive tactics and the fear that is now compromising the freedom of immigrants, especially Mexican and South American immigrants, notably increased after   mass incarceration has been identified as a public health issue and African Americans have protested nationwide against police brutality and for criminal justice reform. The bail system is being challenged in courts , the “war on drugs” is officially considered a failure and “Stop and frisk” has been determined to be an illegal act. What does this mean? The private prison business usual supply (poor Blacks) has been compromised. The nation is now very aware that African Americans were literally being plucked from their neighborhoods to fuel an economic system known as the prison industrial complex. However, prison remains a big business and they have just shifted their supply to another vulnerable group; immigrants.

“Moreover, the most profitable sector of the private prison business is composed of immigrant detention centers. One can therefore understand why the most repressive anti-immigrant legislation in the United States was drafted by private prison companies as an undisguised attempt to maximize their profit.  Freedom is a Constant Struggle , Angela Davis

Photo : Missing, Nicholas Lambert , courtesy

A significant portion of the prison industry's revenue comes from immigrant detention centers. For some communities, these facilities serve as an integral part of the economy. Immigrants who are taken in by police or by Immigration and Customs Enforcement are not immediately deported. Instead they are held for days, weeks , months in detention centers. Anti-immigrant sentiment and xenophobia are merely the mask used to justify the detention. Unfortunately, this country has been successful at challenging the rights of certain groups (for financial gains) by convincing its white or conservative masses, through fear mongering and racism, that a certain group needs to be detained, lock up or displaced.  Similarly, greed is really at the core of “Donald trump Mexican border wall and Muslim ban. Racism is being used to justify it. These orders are just the beginning, (See more legislation specifically created to increase detention )
It is crucial that further protest, marches and fights against these discriminative “executive orders” call out exactly what is happening and why. We must continue to dismantle the prison system, to fight this. Incarceration and Detention are public health threats we must continue to battle.
Follow and support organizations like ACLU and United We Dream , to be part of the solution.


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