Thursday, February 5, 2009

Detention Center Reforms

If there is abuse or unsanitary conditions in the illegal alien detention centers, we all want whatever reforms may be necessary to end the abuse and improve the living conditions of the detainees. Because of two factors: (1) the kind of people employed in these facilities and (2)the more or less absolute control they exercise over the detainees, there is ample reason to expect that there will always be some degree of abuse just as there is in regular prisons. The detainees should have the primary responsibility of keeping the facilitary clean and sanitary but there is little they can do about abuse except to riot as they did recently at a detention center in Pecos, Texas.

So what is the answer? It is two fold: (1) each facility must have an independent inspector general charged with investigating any evidence of abuse or unsanitary conditions, and (2) all detainees must be processed expeditiously.

Those who wish to voluntarily accept immediate deportation should be fingerprinted, DNAed, photographed and then sent on their way. For others, an inability to provide proof of citizenship or other legal status within a relatively short time must be considered prima facie evidence of illegal entry or border violation and should be so judged within 24 hours of their arrival at the detention center. Only one week should be allowed for the appeal of this judgment. Such appeals should be based on proof of citizenship or other legal status, and any extenuating circumstances the detainee wishes to present.

Generally speaking, those who have been here for less than 5 years are not likely to have extenuating circumstances. Therefore, a summary judgment of their appeals should be issued without further ado, sending them on their way to their homeland within a week. Those who have been here 5 or more years, and can prove it with nonfraudulent documents, must also present the additional evidence they believe to be relevant in support of their appeals.
The criteria for a successful appeal should be limited, rigid, and simple. Family separation cannot be one these criteria. Abuse of the 14th Amendment with quick pregnancies to achieve birthright citizenship for anchor babies born on U.S. soil cannot be permitted as the basis for an appeal. Minor children, regardless of citizenship, must always accompany their parents if they are deported.

Justice delayed is justice denied should be the motto of the detention facilities. Immigration judges must be assigned to these facilities to assure that decisions are made within 24 hours of the arrival of the detainees. The judges must be provided with appropriate criteria to assure quick decsions and few successful appeals.

Instead of a per diem or capitation basis, contractor payments should be based on a throughput measure approach that rewards the company based on how fast they move the detainees out of their facilities and back to their homelands in accordance with the law.

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