company:corecivic

  • Opinion | When Migrants Are Treated Like Slaves

    People awaiting deportation are being forced to work for little or no pay. We have a name for that.

    We’re familiar with grim stories about black-shirted federal agents barging into apartment complexes, convenience stores and school pickup sites to round up and deport immigrants. We’ve heard far less about the forced labor — some call it slavery — inside detention facilities. But new legal challenges to these practices are succeeding and may stymie the government’s deportation agenda by taking profits out of the detention business.
    Yes, detention is a business. In 2010, private prisons and their lenders and investors lobbied Congress to pass a law ordering Immigration and Customs Enforcement to maintain contracts for no fewer than 34,000 beds per night. This means that when detention counts are low, people who would otherwise be released because they pose no danger or flight risk and are likely to win their cases in immigration court remain locked up, at a cost to the government of about $125 a day.
    The people detained at these facilities do almost all of the work that keeps them running, outside of guard duty. That includes cooking, serving and cleaning up food, janitorial services, laundry, haircutting, painting, floor buffing and even vehicle maintenance. Most jobs pay $1 a day; some work they are required to do pays nothing.
    Workers in immigration custody have suffered injuries and even died. In 2007, Cesar Gonzalez was killed in a facility in Los Angeles County when his jackhammer hit an electrical cable, sending 10,000 volts of direct current through his body. He was on a crew digging holes for posts to extend the camp’s perimeter.
    Crucially, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health ruled that regardless of his status as a detainee, Mr. Gonzalez was also an employee, and his employer was found to have violated state laws on occupational safety and health.
    Two of the country’s biggest detention companies — #GEO and #CoreCivic, known as #CCA — are now under attack by five lawsuits. They allege that the obligatory work and eight-hour shifts for no or little pay are unlawful. They also accuse the companies of violating state minimum wage laws, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and laws prohibiting unjust enrichment.
    The plaintiffs have a strong case. Forced labor is constitutional so long as it is a condition of punishment, a carve-out in the slavery prohibitions of the 13th Amendment. But in 1896, the Supreme Court held that “the order of deportation is not a punishment for crime.” Thus, while private prisons may require work to “punish” or “correct” criminal inmates, judges in three cases have ruled that immigration detention facilities may not. It’s as legal for GEO to force its facilities’ residents to work as it would be to make seniors in government-funded nursing homes scrub their neighbors’ showers.
    GEO’s own defense provides insights into just how much its profits depend on labor coerced from the people it locks up. In 2017, after Federal District Judge John Kane certified a class-action lawsuit on behalf of GEO residents in Aurora, Colo., the company filed an appeal claiming the suit “poses a potentially catastrophic risk to GEO’s ability to honor its contracts with the federal government.”
    Court records suggest that GEO may be paying just 1.25 percent to 6 percent of minimum wage, and as little as half of 1 percent of what federal contractors are supposed to pay under the Service Contract Act. If the plaintiffs win, that’s tens of millions of dollars GEO would be obligated to pay in back wages to up to 62,000 people, not to mention additional payments going forward. And that’s just at one facility.

    GEO’s appeal tanked. During oral arguments last summer, the company’s lawyer defended the work program by explaining that those held in Aurora “make a decision each time whether they’re going to consent to work or not.” A judge interjected, “Or eat, or be put in isolation, right? I mean, slaves had a choice, right?” The 10th Circuit panel in February unanimously ruled that the case could proceed.
    On top of that, last year GEO was sued for labor violations in its Tacoma, Wash., facility. In October, United States District Judge Robert Bryan, a Reagan appointee (!), denied GEO’s motions to dismiss these cases and for the first time allowed claims under the state minimum wage laws to proceed, as well as those for forced labor and unjust enrichment.
    On March 7, 18 Republican members of the House, 12 of whom have private prisons in or adjacent to their districts, sent a letter to the leaders of the departments of Labor, Justice and Homeland Security complaining about the lawsuits. They warned that if the agencies don’t intervene to protect the companies, “immigration enforcement efforts will be thwarted.”
    Those who cheer this outcome should feel encouraged. The measures the representatives asked for — including a statement by the government that those who work while locked up are “not employees” and that federal minimum wage laws do not apply to them — won’t stop the litigation. Agency pronouncements cannot overturn statutes. As long as judges follow the laws, more of the true costs of deportation will be put into the ledgers.
    If the price of human suffering does not deter the barbarism of rounding people up based on the happenstance of birth, then maybe pinched taxpayer wallets will.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/opinion/migrants-detention-forced-labor.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSour
    #néo-esclavage #esclavage_moderne #USA #sans-papiers #Etats-Unis #exploitation #travail #migrations #détention_administrative #rétention #privatisation


    • US : Poor Medical Care, Deaths, in Immigrant Detention

      Poor medical treatment contributed to more than half the deaths reported by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during a 16-month period, Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, Detention Watch Network, and National Immigrant Justice Center said in a report released today.

      Based on the analysis of independent medical experts, the 72-page report, “Code Red: The Fatal Consequences of Dangerously Substandard Medical Care in Immigration Detention,” examines the 15 “Detainee Death Reviews” ICE released from December 2015 through April 2017. ICE has yet to publish reviews for one other death in that period. Eight of the 15 public death reviews show that inadequate medical care contributed or led to the person’s death. The physicians conducting the analysis also found evidence of substandard medical practices in all but one of the remaining reviews.

      “ICE has proven unable or unwilling to provide adequately for the health and safety of the people it detains,” said Clara Long, a senior US researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Trump administration’s efforts to drastically expand the already-bloated immigration detention system will only put more people at risk.”

      12 people died in immigration detention in fiscal year 2017, more than any year since 2009. Since March 2010, 74 people have died in immigration detention, but #ICE has released death reviews in full or in part in only 52 of the cases.

      Based on the death reviews, the groups prepared timelines of the symptoms shown by people who died in detention and the treatment they received from medical staff, along with medical experts’ commentary on the care documented by ICE and its deviations from common medical practice. The deaths detailed in the report include:

      Moises Tino-Lopez, 23, had two seizures within nine days, each observed by staff and reported to the nurses on duty in the Hall County Correctional Center in Nebraska. He was not evaluated by a physician or sent to the hospital after the first seizure. During his second seizure, staff moved him to a mattress in a new cell, but he was not evaluated by a medical practitioner. About four hours after that seizure, he was found to be unresponsive, with his lips turning blue. He was sent to the hospital but never regained consciousness and died on September 19, 2016.
      Rafael Barcenas-Padilla, 51, had been ill with cold symptoms for six days in the Otero County Processing Center in New Mexico when his fever reached 104, and nurses recorded dangerously low levels of oxygen saturation in his blood. A doctor, consulted by phone, prescribed a medication for upper respiratory infections. The ICE detention center didn’t have the nebulizer needed to administer one of the medicines, so he did not receive it, and he showed dangerously low oxygen readings that should have prompted his hospitalization. Three days later, he was sent to the hospital, where he died from bronchopneumonia on April 7, 2016.
      Jose Azurdia, 54, became ill and started vomiting at the Adelanto Detention Facility in California. A guard told a nurse about Azurdia’s condition, but she said that “she did not want to see Azurdia because she did not want to get sick.” Within minutes, his arm was numb, he was having difficulty breathing, and he had pain in his shoulder and neck – all symptoms of a heart attack. Due to additional delays by the medical staff, two hours passed before he was sent to the hospital, with his heart by then too damaged to respond to treatment. He died in the hospital four days later, on December 23, 2015.

      “Immigrant detention centers are dangerous places where lives are at risk and people are dying,” said Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, a national coalition that exposes the injustices of the US’ immigration detention and deportation system. “The death toll amassed by ICE is unacceptable and has proven that they cannot be trusted to care for immigrants in their custody.”

      In fiscal year 2017, ICE held a daily average of nearly 40,500 people, an increase of nearly 500 percent since 1994. The Trump administration has asked Congress to allocate $2.7 billion for fiscal year 2019 to lock up a daily average of 52,000 immigrants in immigration detention facilities, a record number that would represent a 30 percent expansion from fiscal year 2017.

      “To the extent that Congress continues to fund this system, they are complicit in its abuses,” said Heidi Altman, policy director at the National Immigrant Justice Center, a nongovernmental group dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. “Congress should immediately act to decrease rather than expand detention and demand robust health, safety, and human rights standards in immigration detention.”

      The new report is an update of a 2017 Human Rights Watch report that examined deaths in detention between 2012 and 2015, as well as a 2016 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Detention Watch Network, and the National Immigrant Justice Center that examined deaths in detention between 2010 and 2012.

      The medical experts who analyzed the death reviews for the groups include Dr. Marc Stern, the former health services director for the Washington State Department of Corrections; Dr. Robert Cohen, the former director of Montefiore Rikers Island Health Services; and Dr. Palav Babaria, the chief administrative officer of Ambulatory Services at Alameda Health System in Oakland, California, and assistant clinical professor in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

      Six of the new deaths examined occurred at facilities operated by the following private companies under contract with ICE: #CoreCivic, #Emerald_Correctional_Management, the #GEO_Group, and the #Management_and_Training_Corporation (#MTC).

      “ICE puts thousands of people’s health and lives at risk by failing to provide adequate medical care to the people it detains for weeks, months, and even years,” said Victoria Lopez, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.


      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/20/us-poor-medical-care-deaths-immigrant-detention
      #privatisation #mourir_en_rétention #mourir_en_détention_administrative

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL9IKGoozII


  • #Surveillance and Border Security Contractors See Big Money in Donald Trump’s Immigration Agenda

    Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to ramp up border security and to deport as many as 3 million undocumented people — rhetoric that is being celebrated as a potential goldmine for some in the surveillance and homeland security contracting industry.


    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/06/defense-companies-trump
    #Trump #USA #Etats-Unis #business #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #économie #migrations #asile #sans-papiers
    cc @albertocampiphoto @daphne @marty


  • Etats-Unis : l’industrie de l’incarcération dopée par Donald Trump

    La victoire de Donald Trump a mis en lumière à un secteur méconnu aux Etats-Unis : l’industrie privée des prisons et des centres de détention pour migrants.
    Au lendemain de l’élection du magnat de l’immobilier, les actions des deux principales entreprises du secteur, #Corecivic (ex-Corrections Corporations of America) et #GEO_Group, ont vu leurs actions flamber respectivement de 43% et 21% après avoir été moribondes pendant de longs mois.
    Or aux Etats-Unis, les centres de détention pour migrants sont, à une écrasante majorité, gérés par ces mêmes entreprises privées, notamment Corecivic et GEO Group, sous la supervision de l’agence fédérale de l’immigration et des douanes (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE).

    http://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/etats-unis-lindustrie-de-lincarceration-dopee-par-donald-trum
    #business #détention #économie #Trump #USA #Etats-Unis #détention_administrative #rétention #prisons
    cc @daphne @albertocampiphoto @marty