Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Detention Centers Violate Human Rights

Undocumented immigrants have not broken a criminal law, but rahter a civil one. Civil law encompasses such offenses as parking tickets, speeding and jaywalking. Most immigrants come here, build their family and work. They become integral parts of their communities. It is our immigration laws and procedures which make them vulnerable to abuses.

Ask if the "crime" of working and building fits the punishments being inflicted?

A report released today details the human rights violations that occur once immigrants are in detention.

The Tacoma Center was built over neighborhood objections that a toxic-waste site was not an appropriate place for detention. Now the center has been found to violate many human rights.

"Conditions at the detention center violate obligations under international law, including customary international law and the refugee convention. The center’s holding of asylees in detention violates U.S.’s obligations under the Refugee condition and constitute Cruel, Inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Skinner also says the conditions at the center violate the 5th Amendment of the Constitution in that they amount to punishment... Other rights being violated include the right to counsel, the right to family unity, due process violations due to the forced signing of papers, right to medical treatment, especially emergency medical treatment and mental health treatment."

Many centers, including the GEO center in Aurora, have similar problems. There have been allegations of racism and harassment at the Aurora GEO Center. The waiting room at the facility is very small and visiting family members are forced to wait outside in the heat and cold if they want to visit their family. The facility also only allows two visitors at a time so families have to bring someone with them to watch their other children or not visit at all. Even prisons do not have such restrictions.

To read the executive summary click here
To read the full report click here

4 comments:

Julia said...

Those centers are disgusting! Someone needs to come to the defense of these people. Oh sure, you may say "they come into this country illegally" (bullshit; most illegal immigrants are simply legal immigrants whose green cards have expired), but does that justify inhumane treatment?

Piper said...

I totally agree. The "punishment" of detention does not fit the "crime" of being undocumented. Thanks for your comment!

C said...

I am so glad to see there are people out there aware and concerned about the immigrants’ rights situation in detention centers...The problem is very real and needs more attention... There's a very interesting article that Human Rights Watch posted in its website about immigrant women's health in detention centers, you should check it out:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/03/17/misery-danger-hidden-and-unheard

C said...

I am so glad to see there are people out there aware and concerned about the immigrants’ rights situation in detention centers...The problem is very real and needs more attention... There's a very interesting article that Human Rights Watch posted in its website about immigrant women's health in detention centers, you should check it out:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/03/17/misery-danger-hidden-and-unheard