Thursday, April 13, 2017
The First Step Down A Slippery Slope
The very first German concentration camp was built to handle the overflow of the states prisons. In the early years people were actually released after serving their sentences. But as the years went by, the inmates were more likely to be considered undesirables with little thought or care given to their treatment or well being. And in the end, despite only a few extermination camps being built, all the Nazi camps had become places where inmates died because of hunger, disease, overwork or just senseless cruelty. And now Der Trumpenfuehrer has decided that those undocumented immigrants he considers undesirable will not only be placed in detention centers, but those holding them will no longer need to provide for their care and wellbeing beyond the minimum basic needs.
For more than 15 years, jails that hold immigrants facing deportation have had to follow a growing list of requirements:And once they have rounded up all 11 Million undocumenteds the system will probably collapse into a collection of deadly hell holes providing a final solution for the problem Trump created.
Notify immigration officials if a detainee spends two weeks or longer in solitary confinement. Check on suicidal inmates every 15 minutes, and evaluate their mental health every day. Inform detainees, in languages they can understand, how to obtain medical care. In disciplinary hearings, provide a staff member who can advocate in English on the detainee’s behalf.
But as the Trump administration seeks to quickly find jail space for its crackdown on illegal immigration, it is moving to curtail these rules as a way to entice more sheriffs and local officials to make their correctional facilities available.
According to two Homeland Security officials who had knowledge of the plans but declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly, new jail contracts will contain a far less detailed set of regulations.
They will make no mention of the need for translation services, for example. A current rule that detainees’ requests for medical care be evaluated by a professional within 24 hours will be replaced by a requirement that the jails merely have procedures on providing medical care.
The new contracts will require that the jails maintain policies for suicide prevention, solitary confinement and other concerns, but will not specify what those policies should contain.
The changes, which will coincide with the closing of an office that develops regulations, will essentially hold these jails to the same standards they must follow for criminal inmates. That is a break from a long-held philosophy that people held on immigration violations, who are considered by law to be “civil” detainees, should be treated differently, and is in line with the president’s belief that the government should be tougher on the unauthorized.
The moves also underscore the challenges of rapidly expanding immigration enforcement, a centerpiece of President Trump’s campaign platform. An internal memo, first reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday, revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has procured an additional 1,100 detention beds, which are not yet being used, and has identified 27 potential facilities with space for 21,000 detainees.
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