Business is Booming for the Prison Profiteers

by JAMES KILGORE, Counter Punch

Private corrections company The GEO Group celebrated the holiday season by opening a new 1,500 bed prison in Milledgeville, Georgia on December 12th. The $80 million facility is expected to generate approximately $28.0 million in annual revenues.

Though GEO (formerly Wackenhut) is hardly a household name, they are a major player in the private corrections sector, combining a self righteous amorality in profiting from human misery with a ruthless sense of just how to make a buck in this business. The GEO Group is so notorious that they were the target of an Occupy Washington D.C. action in early December. In addition,¬† the United Methodist Church sold off more than $200,000 in stock in GEO Group over the holiday season, judging that holding these shares was ‚Äúincompatible with Bible teaching.‚ÄĚ

While such actions may irritate a few within the company’s rank, the GEO Group is thick-skinned.  Over the years journalists have exposed a long history of violence, abuse and corruption in the company’s facilities.  Such scandals would have driven most firms out of business, but GEO has always managed to find the way back to prosperity. While the U.S. economy has plummeted in the past eighteen months, GEO has been positioning itself for the future.  In addition to opening the Georgia facility, during this period the company has: Continue reading

Community Rallies for Gerardo, Hearing Date Delayed to December 5th

Gerardo and his family received a warm and enthusiastic welcome this afternoon as around 100 people rallied to support them and to educate English speaking audiences about the injustices of the U.S.’s broken immigration system. ¬†Many students who have been fighting for the DREAM Act were in attendance. Thank you, Jeremy Bermudez of PAZ for a wonderful, rousing call to action! ¬†Also accompanying us were actors portraying banks and private prison corporations, ICE, with students chained by their interests.
After Gerardo spoke to the crowd, he and his family went in to immigration court, where his lawyer proceeded to apply for and receive an extension on Gerardo’s hearing. ¬†It is now scheduled for December 5th. You can be sure we’ll be there.
If you haven’t already signed the petition for Gerardo on United We Dream’s Website, please do so:
Also, we hope to see you at the following upcoming events:
Immigration Forum¬†at Denver’s First Universalist Church at Colorado and Hampden,¬†June 12, 11:30 to 2. ¬†This is a great opportunity for folks to learn what’s going on with deportations in the U.S. The program will be in English, and will feature RAP leaders Jeanette and Gerardo as well speaking via translator.

Jeanette’s Final Deportation Hearing¬†at Immigration Court, 17th and Welton,
July 13 at 8:30 a.m.  According to her wishes we want to bring an even bigger crowd this time, so be sure and mark your calendars

Help Stop the Deportation of Gerardo!

Seguido en espa√Īol

RAP allies, supporters, and friends! 

Join Rights for All People
****Wednesday May 25th from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM ****
621 17th Street Downtown Denver
Federal Immigration Courthouse

The‚ÄúUnification Not Deportation‚ÄĚ campaign is entering its fourth week and continues to gain momentum in the fight to ¬†stop deportations and keep our families and communities together!¬†

 RAP organizer and mother Jeanette was supported by nearly 100 who turned out for her immigration hearing.

Gerardo is a DREAM student who is facing the second of his immigration court dates; he is a visionary young man that graduated from Smoky Hill High School and dreams of becoming an automotive engineer. He has been in the United States since he was 9 years old! Gerardo was pulled over last year only blocks from his house for a broken license plate and is now facing deportation.  He is one of the many thousands of DREAM students whose futures are in jeopardy and are at risk of deportation until Congress passes the DREAM Act.

RAP is asking supporters to attend the rally and send this action alert to 10 more people!

The goal is to triple the number of people at the press conference in front of the courthouse. We will then be marching down to the 16th street mall to bring awareness with our street theater piece and gather signatures for our petition to keep Gerardo here with his family!

 

Click here to sign the online petition to tell Dept. of Homeland Security to stop the deportation of Gerardo!

 We need volunteers to help with the street theater piece in which we will depict the big business of our broken and unjust immigration system. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Judith at 303-893-3500 x 103 or  judith@rap-dpt.org.

Click here to RSVP on Facebook!

 Thanks for your action and we’ll see you and at least 5 more of your friends on Wednesday afternoon to take a stand to keep families together!

 

Rights for All People
Immigrant-Led Change
1400 Dayton St.
Aurora, CO 80010
(303) 893-3500
www.rap-dpt.org 

 

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Colorado AID: A Case Study in Prison Abolition Praxis

The following is a reflective piece written by a member of Denver ABC.  Enjoy!

“Who are these dear friends who are falling like dry leaves?
Radio said, ‚ÄėThey are just deportees‚Äô‚ÄĚ Woody Guthrie (1)

‚Äú(The Office of Detention and Removal) provides the endgame to immigration enforcement and that is the removal of all removable aliens‚ÄĚ(2)

Abolish Inhumane Detention

The blunt quote above, taken from a key document produced by the Bureau of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), exudes the blunt immigration policy of the United States.  I would even argue that it is nothing less than war being conducted on immigrants.(3)

Just take a quick gaze at our current social landscape and the picture begins to come into focus.  Border Patrol has constructed a highly militarized and technologically advanced border wall and is running immigration check points great distances inside of US borders.  A gap exists in the wall in the brutal Sonora desert in Arizona, funneling migrants into an environment that continues to claim thousands of lives.  Covertly or openly white supremacist paramilitaries are also patrolling the land, heightening the hostile environment.  ICE has a high functioning system of mass deportation that is centered around an archipelago of detention centers throughout the US.  Through legislature, the criminalization of immigrants continues to intensify.  All of this continues to be justified due to a dominant culture saturated with racist, xenophobic ideology.

Colorado’s front range has not been spared in this war and in fact continues to play a critical role in it.  The ICE raids at Greeley meatpacking plants in 2006 demonstrated to the entire country what the future held.(4)  Legally criminalizing immigrants through legislation like Secure Communities has also taken place here.  Most notably though is the large, privately-run ICE detention facility in Aurora that holds 1,100 beds.(5)  Supporting the many families in the Denver metro area surviving through this war is where the work of Colorado AID takes place.
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Community Members Remember Those Recently Killed on the Border and Fight for Migrant Justice


Each month DABC members join with others from the community in a vigil outside the Aurora ICE Detention Center. ¬†This month’s vigil took place after several murders committed by the Border Patrol in recent months, including that of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca. ¬†Authorities originally claimed that the agent shot and killed Sergio only after being “assaulted” by rocks, but video evidence later surfaced that Sergio was not throwing rocks and actually ran away. (Sidenote: there are some kids throwing rocks in the video and the people looking on are heard to say ‚ÄúHow stupid! They‚Äôre throwing rocks.” Even if they were throwing rocks, shooting someone in the head is a disproportionate response). Earlier in the month several Border Patrol agents beat and tasered a handcuffed Anastacio Hernandez Rojas to death in what the San Diego coroner ruled a homicide. Mr. Rojas was picked up by Border Patrol agents as he was trying to re-enter the US and rejoin his wife and 5 children.

Sergio’s death is just one of the 17 people who have died at the hands of the Border Patrol in the past few¬†6 months, twice as many people as in the last 2 years combined. ¬†This is a direct result of the increased repression waged upon migrants since Obama has taken office. ¬†In his first year as president, 387,790 immigrants were deported, an increase of more than 60% from Bush’s last year in office. Continue reading