LatinaLista — A UPI story published last week revealed that two weeks prior, the number of illegals detained nationwide surpassed 30,000.
On the heels of this revelation is news that the Williamson County, Texas commissioners voted to extend the contract of the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and keep the “family” immigrant detention facility, T. Don Hutto, opened until Jan. 2009.
The agreement was reached after a series of demands from the commissioners were met by the CCA.
And though Homeland Security would like to eradicate undocumented workers from U.S. territory, the reality is it’s everywhere — even at the very detention facilities meant to scare them from coming back to the US.
It seems undocumented workers were found to be working at the T. Don Hutto facility last spring.
In a letter dated May 23, 2007 to Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis, Senior, Contracting Officer Susan D. Erickson with the US Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) writes, “There have been two other recent incidents whereby CCA has contracted for services they have been performed by workers that are not legally authorized to work.” CCA is Corrections Corporation of America, the private jail firm that operates the T Don Hutto Residential Center. ICE is contracted with Williamson County. The county, in turn, is contracted with CCA.
In a written response, dated May 26, 2007, Acting Administrator of the facility Evelyn Hernandez with CCA says, “CCA contracted for services that were performed by workers not legally authorized to work in the US.” Hernandez then goes on to list what actions the company is taking to insure this does not happen again.
But are these workers criminals in the sense the word is used to refer to predatory individuals who prey on others?
Of course not. Otherwise, there would be a lot more alarm.
Whether it’s liked or not, undocumented immigrant labor is so pervasive, so essential and so taken for granted that when it’s discovered, it startles people more than outrages them.
Yet, the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t want mild acceptance of undocumented immigrants on the part of the public. It makes their job easier if there is public outrage.
Talk radio and cable talk shows fill that bill but what can the DHS do to also stir the pot of intimidation and fear — release their 2007 factsheet on immigration enforcement.
On the surface, it looks straightforward but a closer examination shows that DHS refers to every undocumented immigrant as a “gang member” or “violent gang members” and their “associates.”
In fact, this terminology is used so frequently in the preceding bullet points that when it comes to a factoid about your regular undocumented worker, they are referred to as “criminal aliens.”
The term technically is correct but the impression that this category is on the same level as “violent gang members and their associates” is not.
But there won’t be that clarification in this DHS paper. It’s meant to mislead, alarm and prove DHS is keeping the country safe.
They were doing such a good job that they didn’t even know when a facility they were accountable for employed these same people.
It’s one thing to enforce the law but it’s another to villify a people whose only crime is that they crossed a line in the sand or on a river bottom.