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ICE Is Teaming Up With Private Detention Centers To Detain As Many People As Possible Because Of Money

A recent study by Detention Watch Network and Center For Constitutional Rights is exposing the practice of “guaranteed minimums” at privatized immigration detention centers in the U.S. Consequently, these guaranteed minimums serve as cost-effective incentives for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain as many people as possible. They’re written into contracts to guarantee that a certain number of beds will be filled at a certain price. Some contracts even guarantee that the more people detained, the less ICE has to pay for bed. This time, it’s all about detaining mothers and children to make a quota. And, of course, ICE is not about to tell anyone the full story.

It seems U.S. detention facilities are entering the world of monetizing the detention of immigrants.

Credit: VOA News / YouTube

According to the Banking On Detention study, Congress enacted a “quota” of detained immigrants that, today, stands at 34,000 beds nationwide. Not only is it tearing hundreds of thousands of families apart, it also costs U.S. taxpayers $2 billion annually to maintain the “detention bed quota” ICE is expected to maintain.

Some private detention centers have gone even further with contractual “guaranteed minimums.” Essentially, ICE is having to pay for more than 12,000 beds nationwide to pacify money-hungry private prison companies.

Credit: detentionwatchnetwork.org

And, just like the privatization of the prison system, the guaranteed minimums are leading to more and more people being detained in detention centers all over the U.S.

And to hit their guaranteed minimums? ICE has started to detain more mothers and children. The more people in the facilities, the more cost effective the private facilities are.

Credit: ICE / MSNBC / YouTube

That’s right. ICE is offering up children to these private prison companies as guarantees of payment for the beds.

Some of these same privately owned detention centers offer a sliding scale on pricing.

Credit: MSNBC / YouTube

This means that the more people ICE sends to those detention centers over the minimum, the more ICE gets in savings. Like a f-cking sale. Not even saying you have family and are seeking asylum will keep you from ending up in a detention center.

Of course, that is just what ICE is willing to tell us. When Detention Watch Network first submitted its Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request, ICE responded like:

Credit: Seinfeld / NBC / gyfcat.com / Reddit

Seriously. ICE decided that they did not want to comply with the request for information pertaining to the number of people being detained and the amount of money being spent to hit the guaranteed minimums. FYI, FOIA requests are guaranteed to all citizens by law, so simply avoiding a request is, you know, illegal.

So, the request naturally found its way to a federal court, where the judge ruled the ICE had to release the documents requested for the study.

Credit: Judge Judy / Paramount / Agent M Loves Gifs / Giphy

When ICE finally handed over the documents, they redacted the thing to hell and back, leaving very little information even visible.

Credit: The Simpsons / Fox / Longroof / Reddit

“Almost all guaranteed minimums are found in facilities that contract with private prison companies, and ICE actively collaborates with these companies to keep details of their contracts secret,” Ghita Schwarz, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said in a press release. “The public should have a full understanding of how ICE rewards and incentivizes profiteering off the detention of immigrants.”

We’re a long way from understanding the full impact and reach of these guaranteed minimums, even as new detention centers are popping up faster than Walmarts.

Credit: MSNBC / YouTube

All we really know for sure, at this moment, is that children and their mothers are ICE’s new targets to make sure the “guaranteed minimum” is makes financial sense. Because $$$ apparently trumps humanity.


READ: Your Throat Will Knot Watching These Latinos Tell You About The Day ICE Took Their Parents

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Culture

Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Photo via chocolleto/Instagram

Fans of the crispy, buttery Tate’s cookies might be sad when they hear this news. According to current employees, the popular cookie business has been threatening employees who are trying to unionize.

According to multiple employees, Tate’s cookies threatened to contact ICE if workers vote to unionize next month.

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According to Gothamist, most of Tate Bake Shop’s 432 employees are undocumented workers. But the National Labor Relations Act says that undocumented workers have a lawful right to unionize.

The powerhouse baked goods company Mondelēz International owns Tate’s cookies. Additionally, Mondelēz owns other popular brands like Oreo and Chips Ahoy. Local union leaders have called the company “anti-union on steroids”.

Once Tate’s cookies heard rumblings of their workers unionizing, however, they hired an anti-labor consultant. The consultant, Carlos Flores, brags on LinkedIn about keeping businesses “labor free”.

“They began threatening people based on their immigration status, telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported,” said Eastern States’ Union president, Cosmo Lubrano.

The consultant allegedly told workers that he would review their documentation to see if “everything was in order”. If it wasn’t, he said ICE might “send them back”.

“Just because a worker wants to organize, wants to have representation doesn’t mean a company should make their life miserable,” said Julio, an undocumented worker, to The New York Times.

Tate’s cookies employees only began to discuss the possibility of unionizing when the pandemic hit. Workers felt that the cookie company might not protect them should they fall ill.

“We were in the heart of the pandemic at that time and they didn’t know any of the rules that applied to them,” said Anthony Miranti, an Eastern States’ union delegate.

“Will they get paid if they have to self-quarantine? How do they get safety equipment? They were telling us about how they’re all at minimum wage and needed more paid time off and there was just nobody to listen to their problems.”

Officially, Mondelēz denies all claims or threatening workers. They released a statement saying: “Any allegation that the company has violated any aspect of the National Labor Relations Act is untrue. Tate’s prides itself on treating all its employees with respect, and we have fostered over many years an inclusive, supportive, caring work environment and culture with our employees.”

Despite the threats to their livelihood, many workers still believe unionizing will ultimately be beneficial.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who work in union shops. They say things are better,” said an undocumented worker by the name of Catalina to the New York Times. “Why not give this an opportunity?”

As Miranti says, “I think the workers that produce these products should be able to put their heads down on their pillows at night and know their job is secured, that their family has the best coverage out there, that they’ll have a pension to retire on someday.”

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