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21.3.08

Voices from Detention

I write a lot about the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention system. But I've never been detained myself (nor have I even gone in past the parking lot of a detention center). Everything you're reading here is filtered second-hand via my wife and her co-workers. More than perhaps any other oppressed group, detainees have trouble getting their voices heard, since in a prison where even newspapers are contraband, they're hardly going to be starting up blogs. So it's good to get the chance to read a detainee's own words, from a letter to his lawyer (the lawyer, Raha Jorjani, is a friend of mine and former coworker of my wife). The post doesn't say exactly what the legal grounds of his deportation and unsuccessful defense were, but I can safely say there's no plausible circumstances I can think of in which deporting a 26-year-old who has lived in the U.S. since the age of 9 months could qualify as just.

In other detention-related news, an Arizona bill to increase transparency at private prisons, many of which hold immigration detainees, has died, in large part (it seems) because towns like Florence and Eloy have become economically dependent on them.

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