The American Immigration Detention Machine
Date:  02-28-2018

"So What? Maybe It Is a Concentration Camp"
From The Atlantic:

On the eve of the Iowa Caucuses in January 2016, when Donald Trump’s presidential campaign still seemed a long-shot, he landed a crucial endorsement. Joe Arpaio, the Phoenix-area sheriff hailed by conservative activists for being tough on immigration, embraced Trump with a prescient message. “Everything I believe in,” Arpaio declared, “he’s going to do when he becomes president.”

The former sheriff rose to national prominence by running an outdoor jail in the desert he once proudly referred to as a “concentration camp.” Arpaio, who is now running for the United States Senate, sees no reason to reconsider the remark. “I’m not going to back down,” Arpaio said in a recent interview. “So what? Maybe it is a concentration camp. I don’t want to make it look nice, like the Hilton Hotel. I want to say it’s a tough place so people don’t want to come there.”

Now Trump, his most prominent champion, is working to execute an Arpaio-style immigration crackdown at a scale neither may have imagined in Iowa. America’s immigrant detention centers have proliferated in recent decades as a result of bipartisan investment. But the Trump administration is aggressively expanding these facilities, where conditions often seem punitively harsh, locking up many immigrants who pose no obvious threat to public safety. A year into President Trump’s crackdown, tens of thousands of immigrants are living the consequences, and fighting against deportation from behind bars. Continue reading