AUSTIN — Today, the President signed an executive order mandating that families be jailed in detention camps operated on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security while continuing the “zero-tolerance” policy of criminally prosecuting all immigrants apprehended at the border.
“Together in a cage is not better than separate cages,” said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. “This order is going to lead to more and potentially longer family detention. Locking families in detention camps with a proven history of abuse to be traumatized together instead of traumatized apart is a sick way to supposedly ‘keep families together.’”
Along with the already intense public outcry, a legal challenge is likely to follow the announcement. A 1997 settlement known as the Flores settlement bars the prolonged detention of children in secure, unlicensed facilities. Today’s announcement amounts to a promise to violate this standard.
Private prison stocks soared at the news of the executive order. The nation’s two largest family detention centers, located in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas, are operated by for profit prison corporations CoreCivic and GEO Group, respectively.
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Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation, and criminalization are things of the past. Follow us @Grassroots_News.
Cristina Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-499-8111