Download American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons by Mark Dow PDF

By Mark Dow

American Gulag takes us inside of prisons resembling the Krome North carrier Processing middle in Miami, the Corrections company of Americas Houston Processing heart, and county jails round the kingdom that benefit from contracts to carry INS prisoners. It includes aggravating in-depth profiles of detainees, together with Emmy Kutesa, a defector from the Ugandan military who used to be tortured after which escaped to the USA, the place he used to be imprisoned in Queens, after which undertook a starvation strike in protest. to supply a framework for figuring out tales like those, Dow offers a short heritage of immigration legislation and practices within the United States—including the repercussions of September eleven and present-day rules. His booklet finds that present immigration detentions are top understood now not as a well-intentioned reaction to terrorism yet fairly as a part of the bigger context of INS secrecy and over the top authority.

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Extra resources for American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons

Sample text

During a telephone conversation Malone had with Russell Bergeron, the INS’s chief press officer and media relations director, Bergeron referred to a document summarizing the agency’s detained population by categories such as nationality and length of detention. Bergeron told Malone that according to the document, fifty-three detainees had been in custody for more than three years because their countries would not accept them. ” Malone filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain the names and alien numbers of the fifty-three detainees.

A car arrived, they picked up their bags, and they drove away. The new rule prohibiting jails from releasing information about their federal prisoners took effect on April 18, 2003, when I happened to be at the Passaic County Jail to interview a “special interest” Pakistani detainee. The day after the interview I received a call from the Newark INS public affairs officer, Kerry Gill. He asked whether it was true that I had asked the onsite INS official at the jail “questions about statistics,” specifically, about “special interest cases” there.

31 Legalistic distinctions aside, someone who is detained or imprisoned is a prisoner. This may seem obvious enough, but part of understanding the INS is understanding that what is obvious often does not matter. What must it mean to be held in a prison for weeks or months, even for a decade or more, and to be told by the administrative agency renting bed space for you that you are not a prisoner? What does it mean for these men and women that the INS argues that immigration detention is not “punishment”?

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