The New York Times Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL
A Judge’s Rebuke of Immigration Detention
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD AUG. 5, 2015
Children do not belong in prison. The mass detention of families offends American values, a lesson this country learned long ago at Manzanar, Tule Lake, Heart Mountain and the other Japanese-American internment camps of World War II.
Learned, but apparently forgotten by the Obama administration, which has just been ordered by a federal judge to release several hundred women and children locked up in its immigration detention centers in southern Texas. The centers, in Dilley and Karnes City, were thrown up hastily last year to contain a surge of families and unaccompanied children from Central America, many desperately seeking refuge from gang and drug and political violence at home.
The judge found it starkly evident that the filthy, freezing holding cells of the Border Patrol, and the unlicensed lockups in Texas where families languished for weeks and months, distraught and anxious, did not meet those legal obligations.
The country has more than enough money for catching, imprisoning and deporting immigrants. Private prison companies like the ones that run Karnes and Dilley are profiting richly from the enforcement regime.
This post has been edited for length. Read the original OpEd in its entirety here: A Judge’s Rebuke of Immigration Detention – The New York Times