By Mark Dow
American Gulag takes us within prisons comparable to the Krome North carrier Processing heart in Miami, the Corrections company of Americas Houston Processing middle, and county jails round the kingdom that take advantage of contracts to carry INS prisoners. It comprises irritating in-depth profiles of detainees, together with Emmy Kutesa, a defector from the Ugandan military who was once tortured after which escaped to the U.S., the place he was once 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 historical past of immigration legislation and practices within the United States—including the repercussions of September eleven and present-day rules. His publication finds that present immigration detentions are most sensible understood now not as a well-intentioned reaction to terrorism yet really 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
One small gesture they have made is to eliminate the typical prison jumpsuit in favor of khaki pants and purple Tshirts. The warden feels that purple might lift the prisoners’ spirits. For management reasons, the back of each T-shirt has the words “ins inmate” stenciled in a contemporary graphic; at least it acknowledges reality. This book, then, is also about language. In this still-too-invisible system, the lives of bureaucrats, correctional oﬃcers, attorneys, clinic workers, and detained immigrants intersect.
After further denials, Malone and the Morning News sued the INS to compel release of the requested information. In a settlement the agency ultimately provided a list of detainees, “criminal aliens” as well as asylum seekers, held for over three years. In accordance with the terms of the settlement, the INS withheld the detainees’ last names and identifying alien numbers. But it agreed to deliver letters to all of them from the Morning News. There were not, it turns out, 53 detainees who had been held for at least three years, as the INS had ﬁrst indicated to Malone.
Gill told reporter Elizabeth Llorente, “What we’re saying is not that the press cannot be there, covering it, and observing it. . ” The INS cited the ACLU lawsuit concerning the detainees to explain its position, but the larger reason was the agency’s ongoing practice of keeping the detention system secretive and the detainees themselves isolated. Quarantillo’s spurious invocation of the detention standards to justify a new and arbitrary media restriction put her squarely in the INS tradition.