Immigrant Detention: Modern Day Slavery

Slavery is not dead. Last Sunday, Melissa Harris-Perry @MHP took viewers on a journey places where enslavement lives in the shadows and its threat controls people through fear.

“Thousands of immigrants, locked up at federal detention centers for sometimes no more than a status offense, are being put to work at the detention facilities for as little as $1 a day. @MHP

Today’s slaves are the thousands of immigrants detained by the U.S. government largely in secret. We wonder how policy get made? Just follow the money. Eisenhower warned against the “military industrial complex.” Today, it is the “prison industrial complex” that renders policy makers blind and blinds us to the fact that policy-makers act in response to private sector imperatives for profit.

There is a privatized prison industry that pours millions of dollars into campaigns in every election cycle at the local, state and federal levels. In return, legislators ensure that those dollars yield a return by keeping those private jails and prisons full. They sanction the use of detainee labor to keep them running to reduce costs and increase profit margins. Yes, detainees and other inmates are doing jobs that the free and unemployed could do, i.e., building and operating detention facilities and prisons.  Detainees do these jobs for $1 a day or less.

In the recent past and still today, draconian, over the top determinate sentencing for drug offenders kept prisons full while destroying individuals, families and entire communities. Today, we must add immigrants, who live in fear of being “disappeared” in an ICE raid on their home or place of work, to the numbers of people of color that have become literally enslaved and their communities terrorized to support private, monied interests. #immigation #prisonindustry

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