It used to be that Mexican immigrants who were caught crossing the border into the U.S illegally were mostly treated as a deportation case, and were not actually prosecuted for a crime. In 2005, that changed. The federal government decided to ramp up prosecutions under an internal program called Operation Streamline. This new law caused a huge rise in immigrants, mostly Mexicans or people from Latin decent, to be incarcerated in the U.S. federal prison system for illegal border crossing. The average sentence ranged from six months to up to eighteen months behind bars, for a crime that before usually involved just deportation back to Mexico or whichever neighboring country close to the U.S. The motivation behind this crackdown on immigration lockup was not because the U.S. wanted to beef up the punishment for illegal border crossing, as one might think, but was purely for profit to private prison companies called Criminal Alien Requirement prisons, or C.A.R. In an article called “Shadow Prisons” on www.fusion.net, a multi-platform media website, it states, “Today, the Bureau of Prisons’ contracts provide more taxpayer dollars to private prison companies than facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In the last five years, the two largest prison companies have made nearly $2 billion in revenue from their CAR prison agreements” (fusion.net)
In order for the private prison companies to keep making money, that have to keep their prisons occupied. This means they will keep immigrants locked up for as long as they can, whether it is just or not. On top of that, there is also a very high rate of inmate abuse that occurs inside the walls of these facilities. In an article on www.aclu.org called “Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison System”, it states, “Prisoners are reportedly threatened with isolation, and sometimes put in SHU (Special Housing Units), for...
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