A project of the Center for Community Change

ICE: Coming to a home near you as detainee levels sky rocket

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And you thought you didn’t live in a police state?

The US is joining France in rounding up its work force and ripping apart hardworking families. Detainee numbers are at record highs in California and across the country. How long can we abuse the very people that are helping build the strength of our country without feeling dire reprecussions?

The US dollar is failing, but few Americans know that because foreign companies refuse to raise their prices to what they should be in order to maintain their share of the American market. People continue to die and struggle not only in Iraq, but in Darfur, the Congo, and countless other countries, but few Americans know that because our media refuses to lift up these stories and we often refuse to look. Drug wars continue to devastate countries throughout Latin America (Afghan and other countries), but Americans (many of whom consume these drugs) don’t know that, because it’s just too far away. Our schools continue to fail our children, but few Americans are aware of real alternatives to education policy in large part because our government is unable to come up with anything.

If the American worker is suffering, it isn’t because of immigrants. It is because our government and society are engaging in practices and are entangled in struggles that we refuse to acknowledge and address. Targeting the immigrant worker with raids on their homes won’t make our schools better, it won’t make our streets safer, and it won’t raise wages. Sound education policy, better international trade agreements, and improved oversight of our economy just might.

But that’s not what the candidates are talking about, that’s not what Lou dobbs is talking about, that’s not what we are talking about around the water cooler.

It’s time we wake up before it’s just too late. Sound immigratio policy isn’t about amnesty- it’s about a healthy community, a healthy economy, healthy families, and a better future. Fear and anger fueling raids on homes and businesses is a cancer that will spread, and leave in its wake only devastation.

To cope with the numbers, federal officials speed up deportations, transfer more people between facilities and use more private jails.

By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 5, 2007

Aggressive immigration enforcement has led to record numbers of detainees in California and around the nation, prompting the federal government to speed up deportations and increasingly rely on transfers and contracts with local jails and private companies.

The detainee population jumped to nearly 27,900 nationwide in fiscal year 2007, up from about 19,700 the previous year, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In California, the population increased to more than 3,700, up from a little more than 3,200 last year. Continue story

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