Editor’s Note: somehow we all managed to get through Easter weekend without the outbreak of nuclear war and I personally managed to survive a surprisingly agonizing broken toe suffered just before the holidays; I’m not sure congratulations are in order but in light of how poorly things have been going on both fronts, I’ll take it for now.
While I remain somewhat certain that it’s only a matter of time before Trump drags the United States into the kind of “real as steel” military conflict the country hasn’t seen since Vietnam, my recently laser-like focus on the unfolding foreign policy nightmare the Trump administration is unleashing on the world has lead to some delays in covering important domestic fuckery, including today’s Brief Thought – while the nation’s eyes were turned towards foreign shores, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo that could put Washington at war with local governments in an effort to fill ICE detention beds for rich donors:
Note: Please be reminded that if you’re having trouble reading this info graphic, you can right click on the picture and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version. Additionally, don’t forget to check out my comments after the sources section of this article.
While it is important to acknowledge the active role racism plays in hard line American immigration policies, people often seem to forget that immigration enforcement is also part of a massive private prison industry with deep lobbying tentacles in Washington and around the country. With this in mind, I would suggest that it’s more than a passing coincidence that the President backed by private prison money and endorsed by the ICE union would use his hand-picked Attorney General to install policies that included hiring 15,000 customs and immigration officers, expanding the number of detention beds from 40,000 to 73,000 and appointing more than a hundred new prosecutors to fill those beds as quickly as possible.
While there will of course be some (with questionable motives) who point to Sessions’ “tough on criminals” rhetoric and choose to read the most sinister part of the AG’s memo as being a measure designed to stop human trafficking, it’s actually quite similar to previous “we’re only going to target dangerous criminals” rhetoric that quickly changed into “being in the country illegally is in and of itself a crime so ICE is free to go after anyone they like” – any legal reading of the memo suggests that Sessions wants federal prosecutors to pursue felony charges against migrants who attempt to bring their family to the United States.
Not that any of this matters to Trump, Sessions or the private prison industry ghouls who fund their political aspirations; at $100 a day per prisoner someone is going to fill those goddamn beds on the taxpayer’s dime and if New York City or San Francisco don’t want to cooperate, then the Trump administration will parachute in quislings who will.
- Nina Illingworth
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