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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

IS IT RIGHT TO DETAIN CHILDREN?

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My friend John Lamb in Nashville blogs today about ICE's Hutto detention center where whole families are jailed while awaiting deportation. I'm reminded of Charles Dickens' tales of debtors prisons in Victorian England where "lawbreakers" who violated British laws relating to debt were jailed right along with their spouses and children. It's hard for me to tell the difference. I don't know that I blame CCA, the contractor that runs the center. Nor do I necessarily blame ICE which is simply carrying out their mission. The country's policymakers carrry responsiblity - senior DHS officials, White House officials, members of Congress, etc. The President can be forgiven for a little while as his Administration is still new. But soon enough, blaming the prior Administration will no longer be an acceptable excuse.

Law enforcement officials around the country have been experimenting for years with alternatives to detaining people and I find it really hard to believe that there are not good options here. It's time to close these facilities and end this shameful chapter in our immigration history.

John links to a new film that is out documenting life at Hutto and I look forward to seeing it.

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Comments

  1. gg's Avatar
    legally yes ... morally no .. lets not forget this is a oountry of laws
  2. AD's Avatar
    yeah this is a country of laws but US has to deport them in a meaningful time. They cant hold these kids in prisons or detention centers for 6 months or a year. Imagine what kind of effect it will have on kid.

    Greg,

    What is the average time these people are being held? In one way, its good to detain them along with parents because they will not get separated but to detain them along with their parents for longer time is ridiculous. If these people are being held for long times, then apparently US also does not have a clear law to punish those who broke the law.
  3. gg's Avatar
    IF this kid deserves to be thrown in a jail, then someone plesae educate me why is Zeituni Onyango (zay-TUH'-nee awn-YAHN'-goh) not treated the same way ?

    This is a coutry of laws but [ ... ]
  4. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    AD - I don't know the answer, but I think the documentary will give a lot of information.
  5. MaryElizabeth 's Avatar
    When the "rule of law" becomes this unreasonable you have to pinch yourself and ask; Is this my country? Not in my country! Something has to give! Our politicians have to make a move and end this detention system and pass reform on immigration. Yes it is true they broke the law...but the punishment is by far way to harsh. America is all about family's and this has to stop.
  6. Thaker's Avatar
    This is one of the more heartbreaking aspects of the myriad immigration issues in the U.S. As an immigration lawyer in New York City, I can tell you that it's a good thing that issues like this are seeing the light of day, rather than passing through without being exposed
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