By Mark Dow
American Gulag takes us inside of prisons similar to the Krome North carrier Processing heart in Miami, the Corrections company of Americas Houston Processing heart, and county jails round the kingdom that take advantage of contracts to carry INS prisoners. It includes irritating 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 us, the place he was once imprisoned in Queens, after which undertook a starvation strike in protest. to supply a framework for knowing tales like those, Dow supplies a short background of immigration legislation and practices within the United States—including the repercussions of September eleven and present-day guidelines. His publication unearths that present immigration detentions are most sensible understood no longer 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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Additional info for American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons
25 If the powder blue lintels and molding inside the courtroom of the Bergen County Justice Center did not convey the appropriate gravity, at least the name of the presiding judge in the three-panel hearing of the Superior Court of New Jersey did. With the hum of unidentiﬁed machinery coming through the windows, Judge Sybil Moses noted the “inherent logic” that detainees’ “access rights” to attorneys could not be assured if the iden- SEPTEMBER 11 31 tities of the detainees were unknown. The New Jersey ACLU had sued for the release of September 11 detainees’ names and won in the lower court;26 this was an appeals hearing.
35 The Iowa law student’s observations from 1970 could not be more timely: “Whether secrecy is preferred solely to protect the agency’s activities from public scrutiny or because it allows a governmental policy of bias against aliens SEPTEMBER 11 35 to be implemented behind the public’s back is unclear. ”36 Between the ﬁrst and second Gulf Wars, I received a carefully folded paper towel in the mail. It was stapled at two corners to form a palm-sized pouch. Inside were seven small black rubber balls and a broken piece of black plastic.
A few more words about the title are in order. 30 In addition, it must be repeated, a person in the custody of the INS or the BICE is an administrative detainee—even when she or he is in your nearby county jail, sharing a cell with a sentenced inmate. ”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?
American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons by Mark Dow