U.S. Image-Polishing On Immigration?
The Dream 9 Are Out, But 30,000 Are Still Prisoners Subject To Torture
By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News
American Grads Try To Enter U.S. July 22 -- by [sojo.net]
With 40 Protesters Arrested in DC, Washington Acts To Cool The Heat
The scene in a Tucson, Arizona, parking lot in the late afternoon of August 7 looked something like the aftermath of a local graduation ceremony, with small groups of people clustered around smiling young people in caps and gowns. But these nine "graduates" were smiling in part because they had just left the nearby Eloy prison, where six of them had suffered the torture technique of solitary confinement for the offense of going on a hunger strike to get phone contact with the outside world.
These are the nine young people known as the Dream 9, who have lived much or most of their lives in the United States and threaten to pout a human face on the cruel and unjust activities known generally as I.S. immigration policy. On August 1, police arrested more than 40 peaceful demonstrators for taking part on an immigration sit-in on Capitol Hill. What if civil disobedience connects with the moral rot of American policy?
On any given day, the United States holds more than 30,000 people in immigration prisons, with more than 300 of them in solitary confinement. It is a system in which the use of torture techniques is unquestioned, and is outsourced by the government to private contractors like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) which runs the Eloy prison, which has a horrific reputation for conditions and a history of detainee deaths, including two suicides in March this year. [CCA has not responded to inquiries.]
HEADLINE: "Dream 9 released from custody after 17 days in detainment"
That was the early headline on NBCLatino on line as the story of the release broke. The tone of that headline and the happy-face story that follows illustrates how compliant media can create the appearance that "the system works" when the evidence is overwhelming that American immigration law is unjust and the Obama administration policy that has deported more that 1.7 million people is cruel and inhuman.
That much is clear from the experience of the Dream 9, whose civil disobedience took the unusual step of committing a legal act for which they assumed they would be arrested and jailed. The legal act? Crossing the border and asking the authorities for asylum. The government obliged by arresting and sending them to a for-profit prison, where they were further mistreated.
As reported August 1 on Colirlines.com, CCA's mistreatment included singling out "ringleaders" for special, attention:
"Shortly after arriving at Eloy, the Dream 9 say their phone use was unfairly restricted. In protest, they began a hunger strike--but six were placed in solitary confinement for their decision to do so".
"At the time of publication, 24-year-old Lulu Martinez and 22-year-old Maria Peniche have spent 104 out of the last 108 hours in complete isolation". when Martinez and Peniche are brought out of their individual cells and into the yard once a day, they are shackled and interact only with guards".
"Thesla Zenaida, who met the Dream 9 at Eloy and is now participating in a hunger strike along with other women detainees, explained in a phone call that a guard's treatment at the detention facility drove a fellow detainee to suicide.
"'Look, a girl hanged herself. A girl was hanged here. [After] she was hanged, they didn't want to take her body down. And for the same reason--because they treat us poorly. A guard treated her poorly, and that guard is still working here. They us like the worst dogs.'"