Monday, May 12, 2008

The Damning Descent of the American spirit

Webmaster John Lamb of has done an impressive job over the last seve ral months of chronicling the growing war on immigrants across this nation -- from Bush administration policy to prison proft-makers like Corrections Corporation of America(CCA) based in Nashville.

Lamb's latest compilation includes shocking revelations from NYT investigative reporting on deaths of immigrants in U.S. detention facilities. These victims are not the typical people Americans think of when immigration comes to the mind. These are not Mexicans looking for work; these are mostly heroic people who have fled their countries due to persecution and violence. They are kept in detention facilities in this nation until their cases for asylum and/or legal status can be ajudicated.

Last night, "60 Minutes" in cooperation with Washington Post reporting, uncovered more atrocities, including an 81-year-old Baptist minister from Haiti who was allowed to die in detention without even his family around him. Basic medical care and concern for detainees is tragically and outrageously absent.

Something incredibly sinister and evil is going on here, much more beyond the political fight over undocumented workers. This descent of the American spirit is frightening.

Lamb is right that the profit-makers like CCA in Nashville should be challenged by people of conscience living here for its role in the detention of immigrants. And Nashvillians should speak
up about the nomination of CCA counsel Gus Puryear to federal court judge. CCA runs a detention facility in south Texas that houses entire immigrant families.

Yes, you read correctly. Our country is imprisoning entire families of immigrants. Children there were not even allowed crayons by CCA until the ACLU intervened for better treatment, according to reporting by The New Yorker magazine.

There is an alternative to the mushrooming number of immigrants in detention facilities since 9/11. Electronic monitoring devices and weekly check ins with case workers have provided the needed assurance that these immigrants will show up for their court dates, the NYT reported. And then families don't have to separated, and children don't have to go without crayons.
Ultimately, this kind of shocking treatment will not stop until the rest of us get involved, confront neighbors like CCA, question nominations like Puryear to the federal bench and ask our places of worship to take a stand.

All God's children -- no matter where they come from -- should be treated with dignity in a nation that professes to be under God.

Go to and read more. It's your country ... at least for now.

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