01/09/2013 10:50:16 AM EST
Beware the Immigration Industrial Complex
"ICE runs a gulag archipelago of detention centers across the country, holding immigrants who have overstayed visas, entered without inspection, seek asylum, and committed minor offenses. ICE has continued to push in the federal courts for expansive definitions of mandatory detention, even if it means detaining people for offenses committed decades ago. In 2011, ICE detained over 429,000 people, more than any other single government entity. More than the Bureau of Prisons, the States of California, Texas, Florida, and New York. ICE operates in its own jails, rents out space at local jails and contracts with private companies like the GEO corporation to manage this enormous population. In addition, ICE has contracts with BI Incorporated to monitor individuals with final orders of removal. This often involves ankle bracelets with GPS, telephonic and in-person reporting. BI officials also monitor an individual’s efforts to obtain passports and plane tickets to depart the U.S. under an removal order. In other words, they do ICE’s job. And, frankly, they are pretty good at it. Over 400,000 removals in 2011 shows how good BI is. Perhaps money can be saved by eliminating the middleman. The large budgetary excess for immigration enforcement also provides an explanation for the massive ICE resistance to immigration reform. ... The large amount of money at stake for immigration enforcement makes it clear that the efforts of some ICE bureaucrats to derail common-sense immigration reform is a result not of a principled belief in our national security and public safety, but rather to protect their exalted place at the public trough." - Benach Ragland, Jan. 9, 2013.