Trump’s desire to jail thousands of immigrant families for months at a time has rekindled an economic romance between a tiny South Texas county and a British security megafirm.
But family detention itself has long been the focus of controversy. Immigrants have described horrific conditions at for-profit lockups, and human rights organizations have condemned family detention as traumatizing, especially to children — hardly a humanitarian alternative to separations.
“It’s trading one system of abuse of children for another,” said Bob Libal, director of Grassroots Leadership, an Austin group that fights private prisons. “And the Trump administration’s plan is indefinite detention, meaning parents and children could be detained for years.”