Private Prison Operator Behind Bill to Detain Immigrant Children for Longer Periods of Time

05/02/17 | HOUSTON, TX — A new bill that could make its way through the Texas Senate this week would classify privately owned detention centers for immigrant women and children as “childcare facilities.”

Calling the detention centers “childcare facilities”  would permit holding women and children for extended amounts of time, according to a report by the Intercept.

Currently, children can be held for only 20 days in the detention centers, but if the detention centers are recognized as “childcare facilities” it’s possible they can be held indefinitely or until deportation occurs.

Presumably the detention center would need to satisfy certain requirements to be recognized as a childcare facility, and the Texas Department of Family Protective Services did grant them childcare licenses.

What has raised alarm is that the bill itself is written by a private prison operator.

Geo Group is the second largest private prison operator in the US, and is behind the legislation, according to reports.

State Rep. John Raney (R) told the Associated Press that he knew the Geo Group personnel who assembled the legislation: “I’ve known the lady who’s their lobbyist for a long time … That’s where the legislation came from… We don’t make things up. People brings things to us and ask us to help.”

The Intercept also reports that Geo Group was granted a $110 million contract to build a 1,000-bed detention center near Houston, TX.

Immigrant rights groups have condemned the bill and protests are expected should it come nearer to passing. They argue that undocumented immigrants have a right to enter the US even if doing so is against the law, because human rights matter more than laws created by nation-states. They often use the slogan “No human is illegal” to convey this idea.

As for Trump supporters, they argue on the basis of a commitment to American nationalism that the needs of American citizens, including legal immigrants, should be given priority, and that it is morally justifiable to deport persons who enter a nation without the nation’s permission.

They also argue that the detention centers are not childcare facilities in name only, but will actually offer appropriate childcare services for the women and children. They say the whole point is to be able to house women and children as long as necessary to prevent the separation of immigrant families, which would be a worse alternative.

Watch the video below where Trump explains his immigration reform policies during his most recent rally:

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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