Monday, July 23, 2018

I Don't Know How To Explain That You Should Care About Other People

[TRIGGER WARNING: DEPORTATIONS, ANTI-IMMIGRANT RACISM, PRISON ABUSE, MENTION OF RAPE]

I feel like I've been over and over this and anyone who reads this will already know it but I can't stop being upset over it.

Over the weekend I commented on one of the OccupyNWDC's Facebook posts offering my gratitude and support for their temporary shutdown of the Northwest Detention Center's operations. Some racist trolls responded to me telling me that I'm [insert ableist slur here] for supporting the prisoners inside the NWDC because they're all apparently rapists and murderers and I should be grateful to ICE for protecting me from being raped and murdered.

I just don't understand how people can go around walking and talking like normal humans while having a complete lack of a soul. I have a hard time believing that anyone is guillible enough to believe that the all of the people inside this immigrant detention center are there because they either raped or murdered someone. Even if someone took in that bullshit on face value, it has to be because they're motivated to believe it by their own intense racism.

Unauthorized crossing of the border into the U.S. is a midemeanor. I don't think it should be a crime at all, but it's not a felony on par with rape or murder. It's not something you should be indefinitely imprisoned for.

Crossing the border and asking for asylum is not a crime. If you cross the border without a Visa or whatever and then ask for asylum, you have not committed a crime.

Now, the idea used to be that you'd only really pursue and deport undocumented immigrants if they committed a crime here (besides the "crime" of crossing an imaginary line in the sand). This crime could be anything, including the kinds of crimes that us white citizens (and white undocumented immigrants honestly) get off for all the time, such as possessing small amounts of weed, drunk driving, petty shoplifting, and various other things that we've all been guilty of but been lucky enough to not get caught, partially because nobody looks at us and automatically thinks "criminal."

These days, undocumented immigrants are increasingly being arrested and imprisoned for nothing other than being here without the right documentation. For fleeing here and avoiding being imprisoned by ICE in the first place, for desperately trying to save their children from lives of horror and/or horrific deaths, for leaving their families behind to work their asses off daily to send some money back home so their kids can eat.

None of the people inside the NWDC are there for rape or murder. This private prison is not designed to hold people that dangerous. It's specifically an immigrant detention center, designed to hold undocumented immigrants while they await deportation hearings. Some of the parents who had their children ripped from them at the southern border have also been transfered here because there are so many people coming here seeking asylum right now. These people have broken no laws at all.

Meanwhile, the conditions inside the NWDC are appalling and the inmates are being exploited for very cheap or free labor.

In June 2008, the Seattle University School of Law's International Human Rights Clinic published an investigation on the NWDC concluding that conditions they found, "violate both international human rights law and domestic Constitutional protections."

This hasn't gotten better. There was a hunger strike to protest the awful conditions in 2014, a guard beat a 60-year-old man for speaking up in 2015, and the NWDC was sued in 2017 for violating Washington State minimum wage laws.

On September 20, 2017 WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against GEO Group, Inc., the private prison company that runs Tacoma's Northwest Detention Center (NWDC). The lawsuit alleges that GEO Group, Inc., the second-largest private prison provider in the country, has for years violated Washington State's minimum wage law, paying its workers $1 per day or in some instances, with snacks and extra food. "Let's be honest about what's going on," said Ferguson, speaking at a downtown Seattle news conference. "GEO has a captive population of vulnerable individuals who cannot easily advocate for themselves. This corporation is exploiting those workers for their own profits."

If you really think that all of these people are rapists and murderers, you've been drinking straight out of the Trump racism bottle, probably because you were racist as fuck to begin with and he's only vindicated your rank bigotry.

If you think that people fleeing their homes out of fear of death and worse for themselves and their children, or people leaving everything behind to come to a strange country to be exploited for cheap labor so their kids can eat, deserve to be arrested, abused, subject to conditions that violate international human rights laws, and deported back to a likely death (and in some cases to a place they haven't been to since they were tiny children where they have nothing and know no one), then you have no soul. That's the only conclusion that makes sense in my mind.

You're just a heartless, soulless monster.

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