Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Communication Breakdown

A small piece from this article sort of blew my mind when I read it. ICE has contracted with the GEO Group to open a new detention center (no surprise there) in Texas. Now, the GEO Group has had a long and sordid history, especially in Texas, particularly at the Reeves DC and the Hutto DC. Multiple lawsuits have been filed (and most won or settled) over GEO's failure to provide medical care and their systematic denial of constitutional rights. Thankfully, opposition has already started to spring up in Texas from a couple of grassroots organizations who don't want to see yet another abusive GEO facility in their state.

So even though the GEO Group has been in operation for decades, and contracting with the feds for nearly that long while being repeatedly sued for various failures to protect or safeguard people, the ICE PR person for the southern region is clueless.

"Nina Pruneda, an ICE Public Affairs officer for South and Central Texas, said she has not heard of any opposition to the new detention center in Karnes County, and she said she is unaware of any lawsuits against GEO."

I'm sorry, but Ms. Pruneda is either completely ignorant or blatantly unqualified to do her job. It's absurd that a goddamn ICE spokesperson doesn't even know that the company ICE is about to sign yet another contract with is a monumental clusterfugazy of epic proportions. I guess maybe this ignornace is what allows for ICE to continually enter into contracts with a company that fails to adhere to them, time and time again.

This is just another drop in the huge bucket that is immigration detention, a booming industry in this country. But the complete lack of any substantive knowledge about the GEO Group's history is unacceptable. This is being billed as a "detention center," as practically every immigration facility has been, but it's going to be a prison, and a shitty one at that. Don't be fooled by semantics - the GEO Group is in the business of denying care and protection to immigrants. Period.

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