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ICE to make detention centers more humane

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Filed: Country: Belarus
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ICE to make detention centers more humane

By SUSAN CARROLL HOUSTON CHRONICLE

June 8, 2010, 10:16PM

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are preparing to roll out a series of changes at several privately owned immigration detention centers, including relaxing some security measures for low-risk detainees and offering art classes, bingo and continental breakfast on the weekends.

The changes, detailed in an internal ICE e-mail obtained by the Houston Chronicle, were welcomed by immigrant advocates who have been waiting for the Obama administration to deliver on a promise made in August to overhaul the nation's immigration detention system.

The 28 changes identified in the e-mail range from the superficial to the substantive. In addition to “softening the look of the facility” with hanging plants and offering fresh carrot sticks, ICE will allow for the “free movement” of low-risk detainees, expand visiting hours and provide unmonitored phone lines.

ICE officials said the changes are part of broader efforts to make the immigration detention system less penal and more humane.

But the plans are prompting protests by ICE's union leaders, who say they will jeopardize the safety of agents, guards and detainees and increase the bottom line for taxpayers. Tre Rebstock, president for Local 3332, the ICE union in Houston, likened the changes to creating “an all-inclusive resort” for immigration detainees.

“Our biggest concern is that someone is going to get hurt,” he said, taking particular issue with plans to relax restrictions on the movement of low-risk detainees and efforts to reduce and eliminate pat-down searches.

The changes outlined in the ICE e-mail are planned for nine detention centers owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America, including the 900-bed Houston Contract Detention Facility on the city's north side.

Some of the changes will be implemented within 30 days; others may take up to six months, said Beth Gibson, ICE's senior counselor to Assistant Secretary John Morton and a leader of the detention reform effort.

Other major changes include:

• Eliminating lockdowns and lights-out for low-risk detainees.

• Allowing visitors to stay as long as they like in a 12-hour period.

• Providing a unit manger so detainees have someone to report problems to other than the guard.

• Allowing low-risk detainees to wear their own clothing or other non-penal attire.

• Providing e-mail access and Internet-based free phone service.

Not about punishment

Gibson said the improvements are part of ICE's efforts to detain immigrants in the least restrictive manner possible while ensuring they leave the country if ordered to do so.

“When people come to our custody, we're detaining them to effect their removal,” Gibson said. “It's about deportation. It's not about punishing people for a crime they committed.”

ICE officials have faced pressure from immigrant advocates and some members of Congress to improve the detention conditions for the roughly 400,000 immigrants it houses annually. The agency has relied on a hodgepodge of more than 250 government-run detention centers, private prisons and local jails to accommodate its growing population — with roughly one in four detainees held in Texas.

At the CCA facilities that have agreed to ICE's changes, detainees will see more variety in their dining hall menus and have self-serve beverage and fresh vegetable bars.

CCA also plans to offer movie nights, bingo, arts and crafts, dance and cooking classes, tutoring and computer training, the e-mail states.

Detainees also will be allowed four hours or more of recreation “in a natural setting, allowing for robust aerobic exercise.”

CCA also committed to improving the look of the facilities, such as requiring plants, fresh paint and new bedding in lower-risk units.

Advocates pleased

Some of the improvements offered at the CCA facilities counted as hard-fought victories for immigrant advocates, including plans to improve visitor and attorney access.

“A lot of these measures are what we've been advocating for,” said Lory Rosenberg, policy and advocacy director for Refugee and Migrants' Rights for Amnesty International.

“Many of these points are very important to changing the system from a penal system, which is inappropriate in an immigration context, to a civil detention system.”

Union members said they have concerns about the plans, primarily focusing on safety.

Rebstocksaid some detainees may be classified as low-risk because they have no serious criminal history but still may be gang members that “haven't been caught doing anything wrong yet.”

He also said eliminating lockdowns will make it more difficult to protect detainees from one another.

He said reducing or eliminating pat-down searches could allow contraband into the facilities, including weapons.

Gibson, with ICE, said the agency is developing a sophisticated classification system and will make sure “that our detainees are still safe and sound.”

“As a general matter, it will be the non-criminals who don't present a danger to anyone else who are benefitting from the lowest level of custody,” Gibson said.

‘On the taxpayers' dime'

Rebstock also questioned the cost to taxpayers for the changes.

“My grandparents would have loved to have bingo night and a dance class at the retirement home they were in when they passed away, but that was something we would have had to pay for,” he said. “And yet these guys are getting it on the taxpayers' dime.”

Gibson said CCA is making the improvements at no additional cost to ICE. The agency's contract with CCA for the Houston detention center requires that ICE pay $99 per bed daily for each detainee, slightly lower than the $102 average daily rate ICE pays nationally .

Rosenberg said some of the changes, like new flower baskets, may seem small, but they will combine with the bigger changes to make a difference in the daily lives of detainees.

“Taken together they will go some way to making this system less penal,” she said.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/special/immigration/7043040.html


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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Being humane is letting them go back to their home nation alive. That's about all the humanity they need after breaching the borders of this nations.


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02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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this must be the change we was promised.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Lovely, more of the wonderful 'treat anyone who transgresses immigration laws like the scum they are' rhetoric and you wonder how I know you do not understand the concept of human rights, or why believing a national constitution that only protects the rights of citizens is a nonsense in terms of 'human rights'?


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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Lovely, more of the wonderful 'treat anyone who transgresses immigration laws like the scum they are' rhetoric and you wonder how I know you do not understand the concept of human rights, or why believing a national constitution that only protects the rights of citizens is a nonsense in terms of 'human rights'?

No one is stopping you from sending warm blankets and words of love. By the way have you done that yet? HE!! NO you havent. Just more loving words that make yourself "feel" good heh?


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: China
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It's my understanding that ICE employees do not work at the privately owned immigration detention centers, at all.

Sure, they come in, to pick up, drop off, conduct some interviews, and thats it.

I don't see how this affects any ICE Union in Houston.


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Careful with those fresh carrot sticks. Those can be used as projectiles you know.


N400 CITIZENSHIP STAGE

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27-DEC-2016 -:- N400 form delivered/picked up by USCIS

01-JAN-2017 -:- N400 form fee check cashed by USCIS

04-JAN-2017 -:- N400 form received per NOA1

09-JAN-2017 -:- N400 form NOA1 notice date

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30-JAN-2017 -:- N400 fingerprint taken

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I don't mind being pelted with fresh organic produce on occasion. It's both therapeutic and extremely beneficial to healthy glowing skins. Slices of cool cucumbers are prefered thrown like a ninja stars but I'm open to other veggies. Throw a few buns in, maybe a bottle of honey mustard sauce and I'm game.

-food fights-


N400 CITIZENSHIP STAGE

23-DEC-2016 -:- N400 form mailed to Dallas, TX Lockbox (USPS EXPRESS)

27-DEC-2016 -:- N400 form delivered/picked up by USCIS

01-JAN-2017 -:- N400 form fee check cashed by USCIS

04-JAN-2017 -:- N400 form received per NOA1

09-JAN-2017 -:- N400 form NOA1 notice date

14-JAN-2017 -:- N400 form NOA1 on hand through USPS

30-JAN-2017 -:- N400 fingerprint taken

01-FEB-2017 -:- N400 interview schedule process started

26-JUL-2017 -:- N400 interview date set (01SEP2017)

29-JUL-2017 -:- N400 interview letter on hand

01-SEP-2017 -:- N400 interview date - Interview passed

10-OCT-2017-:- N400 oath ceremony letter on hand (oath on 26OCT2017)

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Cambodia
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Central Falls the city that hosted the detainees treated the Chinese guy like a Guatamalan inmate. They refused him medical attention. Forces him to crawl in his condition to his cell. The horror for just overstaying his VISA.

The Feds removed the detainee from them. The family members of this Chinese guy who are here legally, and hold citizenship sued the hell of the Wyatt Detention center.

Status: Central Falls, RI is under bankruptcy protection because most of their revenue comes from the Wyatt Detention Center.

Takes one incident like to go bankrupt.

Edited by Niels Bohr

mooninitessomeonesetusupp6.jpg

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Central Falls the city that hosted the detainees treated the Chinese guy like a Guatamalan inmate. They refused him medical attention. Forces him to crawl in his condition to his cell. The horror for just overstaying his VISA.

The Feds removed the detainee from them. The family members of this Chinese guy who are here legally, and hold citizenship sued the hell of the Wyatt Detention center.

Status: Central Falls, RI is under bankruptcy protection because most of their revenue comes from the Wyatt Detention Center.

Takes one incident like to go bankrupt.

Thank god he wasnt in his home country.


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Cambodia
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The dude got pancreatic cancer. He can't walk and in pain daily. He was refused any medical treatment. Rapist, serial murderers gets them.

If it was someone I know, I would probably made the city go off the map financially.

Edited by Niels Bohr

mooninitessomeonesetusupp6.jpg

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The dude got pancreatic cancer. He can't walk and in pain daily. He was refused any medical treatment. Rapist, serial murderers gets them.

If he cant walk then how did the feds get him? Did they go to the hospital and drag him to detention?


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Central Falls the city that hosted the detainees treated the Chinese guy like a Guatamalan inmate. They refused him medical attention. Forces him to crawl in his condition to his cell. The horror for just overstaying his VISA.

The Feds removed the detainee from them. The family members of this Chinese guy who are here legally, and hold citizenship sued the hell of the Wyatt Detention center.

Status: Central Falls, RI is under bankruptcy protection because most of their revenue comes from the Wyatt Detention Center.

Takes one incident like to go bankrupt.

Perhaps he should not have overstayed his Visa....


nfrsig.jpg

The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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