US Concentration Camps for Asylum Seekers

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June 15, 2019

US Concentration Camps for Asylum Seekers

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Trump regime hostility toward Central Americans fleeing violence committed US-supported repressive regimes and Muslims from the wrong countries is well documented.

Locked up under horrific conditions with no concern for their rights and welfare, including young children separated from parents, they’re treated like criminals, not human beings in need — denied enough food, clean water, medical care, and basic sanitation.

The ACLU denounced their mistreatment, saying the US “locks up hundreds of thousands of (refugees and asylum seekers) every year,” adding:

They’re subjected “to brutal and inhumane conditions of confinement…The ‘lock ’em up’ approach to detention” violates their fundamental rights under international law.

According to Andrea Pitzer, author of “One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps,” the US has “what I would call a concentration camp system” for unwanted aliens, “and the definition of that in my book is, mass detention of civilians without trial.”

Genocide studies historian Waitman Beorn explained that “(t)hings can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz.”

They’re intended to separate unwanted and abused people from society and their freedom. They can be slow-motion death camps, not industrial scale, if mistreatment is indefinite and extreme.

Pain, suffering, and deaths result from extreme overcrowding, insufficient resources, and disdain for unwanted people, dismissive of their basic needs and welfare.

Since Trump took office, about two dozen unwanted aliens died in detention facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Six children held by other US agencies perished for lack of essential to life care. Reportedly the Trump regime intends using the Fort Sill, OK army base, used to intern Japanese-Americans during WW II, to detain around 1,400 unaccompanied unwanted alien children under virtual concentration camp conditions.

Obama continued horrific detention practices begun by the Clinton co-presidency, using numerous facilities to detain unwanted aliens under horrific conditions, the Trump regime escalating these policies.

It’s going all-out to prevent unwanted refugees and asylum seekers from reaching the US by inventing reasons to exclude them, along with wanting them discouraged from trying to cross into the country.

Its hardliners want unwanted aliens denied asylum if they resided in a country besides their own before entering the US — aiming to deny protection to refugees and asylum seekers arriving at the US border from Mexico.

In early May, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Trump regime’s Migration Protection Protocols/Remain in Mexico policy to keep refugees and asylum seekers in Mexico while awaiting an immigration court ruling on their status.

Limiting their access to legal help, immigration lawyer Taylor Levy called the Ninth Circuit’s ruling “devastating. Subjecting vulnerable families to this program is inexcusable,” she stressed, adding:

Families dumped and abandoned on the Mexican side of the US border are vulnerable to violence, robberies, kidnappings, and other abuses.

The Trump regime also uses a “metering” system at the border with Mexico, forcing refugees and asylum seekers to wait indefinitely under horrific conditions before their asylum claims are processed in the US.

Aliens entering the US without permission are criminalized, their asylum claims denied, the Trump regime aiming to prevent unwanted individuals from entering the country, ones arriving subjected to deplorable mistreatment.

According to Mexico City-based Excelsior News on Sunday, dozens of Central American refugees and asylum seekers escaped from a Tabasco state detention center because of gross mistreatment — disdain for their rights shown on both sides of the border.

Reports on US detention facilities show female detainees, including children, are subjected to a disturbing pattern of sexual abuse, including by detention facility staff.

An earlier ACLU investigation found nearly 1,500 accusations of sexual abuse filed with ICE authorities from 2012 to March 2018, 237 in 2017 alone.

A 2013 Government Accountability Office (GOA) report estimated around 40% of sexual abuses aren’t reported to ICE, fearing recrimination.

The ACLU said what’s going on in detention aren’t “isolated cases. They clearly show that officials are not doing enough to detect and respond to incidents of sexual abuse in immigration detention. The result is that immigrants are put at serious risk for sexual violence while they are detained.”

The US Prison Rape Elimination Act hasn’t protected detainees from this abuse. Terrorizing unwanted aliens in the US began long before Trump took office.

His racist war took things to higher level. The Anne Frank Center earlier slammed his mistreatment of unwanted aliens, tweeting: 

“The Statue of Liberty weeps as she watches Trump flush America’s moral leadership down the toilet.”

American exceptionalism and moral superiority don’t exist, a fantasy democracy governed autocrats, plutocrats, and oligarchs, serving the nation’s privileged class exclusively.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.