Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are being kept (and forced to work) in immigrant detention centers for crossing a border every year. Along with the necessary question of Who Benefits? (largely private corporations), this raises other questions: Which is the crime? Crossing a border? Or keeping immigrants captive for money? This is not new in the age of Trump. Obama (who deported more people than all other presidents of the century before him, combined) detained large numbers of families in prison setting the stage for Trump’s policies today. For more on this stage setting, check out Cruel and immoral: America must close the doors of its immigration prisons by C.C. Garcia Hernandez, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/17/family-separation-family-detention-immigration. If you would like to see stats on immigrants in detention centers check out Freedom for Immigrants site: https://www.freedomforimmigrants.org/detention-statistics/
I once worked in a refugee camp in Azerbaijan on an education project. The principal of their makeshift school told me one day he was a principal in a large school with one hundred staff. Days later he was in a camp struggling to set up some semblance of a school with a handful of teachers. He did not plan on being a refugee. Yet, there he was. He could be me. They could be us. Millions and millions of refugees, thrown from their homes by war. Why?
Women leaving their home countries, fleeing war, domestic and social violence, poverty and political, gender and religious persecution, find that even their journeys are fraught with violence, abuse and exploitation. Eighty percent of women and girls leaving Central America for the US are raped or abused. It is such a common occurrence, they take birth control along to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Women in many parts of the world, setting out for a new life, are grabbed and caught by elaborate networks of sex trafficking, one of the three most lucrative illicit businesses internationally (the other two are drugs and illegal arms dealing). Surely safe passage is an important issue for feminists.
According to UN figures, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2014. The number of people internally displaced by persecution, war or conflict reached a record number of nearly 60 million people. Then we have all the numbers who scramble from place to place because of their economic conditions. We move to survive, not to cause trouble or discomfort for other people.
If you deport a refugee child, you throw them back into the fire — the dangerous spaces they were trying to escape. What a monstrosity.
We are a society of false imprisonment. Human beings searching for ways to live safely, contentedly with their people being locked up in bad jobs, no jobs, detention centers, prisons, forced military service and despair. What kind of society is this?