Thursday, March 17, 2011

International Commission 'troubled' and 'distrubed' by immigration detention centers in US

Today the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published its Report on Immigration in the United States: Detention and Due Process.

Arizona detention centers were among those investigated for the report. The Inter-American Commission uses words like "disturbed" and "troubled" to describe their findings.

In a press release about the report, the the Inter-American Commission said they are "troubled by the lack of a genuinely civil detention system with general conditions that are commensurate with human dignity and humane treatment."

The Inter-American Commission also said they are, "disturbed by the fact that the management and personal care of immigration detainees is frequently outsourced to private contractors, yet insufficient information is available concerning the mechanisms in place to supervise the contractors."

Three Arizona detention centers were among the six that were investigated as part of the report. The other three were in Texas. In Arizona, the Inter-American Commission visited: Southwest Key Unaccompanied Minor Shelter (Phoenix, Arizona); Florence Service Processing Center (Florence, Arizona); and the Pinal County Jail (Florence, Arizona). The for-profit detention centers run by CCA in Florence and Eloy were not included in the investigation.

The Inter-American Commission is an autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS). The Inter-American Commission has a mandate from the OAS and the American Convention on Human Rights to promote respect for human rights in the region. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

Let's hope the U.S. government doesn't try to sweep this under the rug of, "we've already made important changes in the last two years." From what we've heard and observed from those detained recently, the U.S. immigration detention system is not fully respectful of human rights.

We hope you'll join us in this international human rights work, right in our own backyard. Come learn how you can be part of honoring the human dignity of immigrants being detained. We are offering a training on Saturday, March 26, from 9 am to noon, at Casa Mariposa, the Tucson hospitality house of the Restoration Project, 340 S. 3rd Ave.

Read the New York Times article about the report.

The full report is here:

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