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ICE Jails Get Art Classes, Bingo, Brunch

We almost overlooked these glad tidings from the Houston Chronicle:

ICE to make detention centers more humane

By SUSAN CARROLL
June 8, 2010

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are preparing to roll out a series of changes at several privately owned immigration detention centers, including relaxing some security measures for low-risk detainees and offering art classes, bingo and continental breakfast on the weekends.

The changes, detailed in an internal ICE e-mail obtained by the Houston Chronicle, were welcomed by immigrant advocates who have been waiting for the Obama administration to deliver on a promise made in August to overhaul the nation’s immigration detention system.

The “immigrant advocates” being La Raza, the ACLU and the SEIU. All of whom have been calling the shots on US immigration policy for a long time.

The 28 changes identified in the e-mail range from the superficial to the substantive. In addition to “softening the look of the facility” with hanging plants and offering fresh carrot sticks, ICE will allow for the “free movement” of low-risk detainees, expand visiting hours and provide unmonitored phone lines.

ICE officials said the changes are part of broader efforts to make the immigration detention system less penal and more humane.

But the plans are prompting protests by ICE’s union leaders, who say they will jeopardize the safety of agents, guards and detainees and increase the bottom line for taxpayers. Tre Rebstock, president for Local 3332, the ICE union in Houston, likened the changes to creating “an all-inclusive resort” for immigration detainees.

“Our biggest concern is that someone is going to get hurt,” he said, taking particular issue with plans to relax restrictions on the movement of low-risk detainees and efforts to reduce and eliminate pat-down searches…

Other major changes include:

•  Eliminating lockdowns and lights-out for low-risk detainees.

•  Allowing visitors to stay as long as they like in a 12-hour period.

•  Providing a unit manger so detainees have someone to report problems to other than the guard.

•  Allowing low-risk detainees to wear their own clothing or other non-penal attire.

•  Providing e-mail access and Internet-based free phone service

At the CCA facilities that have agreed to ICE’s changes, detainees will see more variety in their dining hall menus and have self-serve beverage and fresh vegetable bars.

CCA also plans to offer movie nights, bingo, arts and crafts, dance and cooking classes, tutoring and computer training, the e-mail states.

Detainees also will be allowed four hours or more of recreation “in a natural setting, allowing for robust aerobic exercise.”

CCA also committed to improving the look of the facilities, such as requiring plants, fresh paint and new bedding in lower-risk units…

Rebstock said some detainees may be classified as low-risk because they have no serious criminal history but still may be gang members that “haven’t been caught doing anything wrong yet.”

He also said eliminating lockdowns will make it more difficult to protect detainees from one another.

He said reducing or eliminating pat-down searches could allow contraband into the facilities, including weapons

Rebstock also questioned the cost to taxpayers for the changes.

“My grandparents would have loved to have bingo night and a dance class at the retirement home they were in when they passed away, but that was something we would have had to pay for,” he said. “And yet these guys are getting it on the taxpayers’ dime.” …

Rosenberg said some of the changes, like new flower baskets, may seem small, but they will combine with the bigger changes to make a difference in the daily lives of detainees.

“Taken together they will go some way to making this system less penal,” she said.

Why shouldn’t illegal aliens be punished for breaking the law? Why, instead, should they be treated like they are in a vacation resort?

Is no effort to be spared to encourage illegal aliens to come to our country for the Democrats’ voter drive?

(Thanks to Infidel Joe for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 10th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “ICE Jails Get Art Classes, Bingo, Brunch”

  1. Right of the People says:

    They’re supposed to be in jail because they broke the friggin’ law. This isn’t supposed to be a *$%$%##@^%&^* Holiday Inn Express!

    The friggin’ Internet? I’ve got to pay $35.00 a month to have it at home and these law breaking scumbags get it for free?

    Bread and water, a clean day-glo orange jumpsuit and place to sleep is all they deserve. These “prisons” are probably much better than the sh*&hole village they left in that third world armpit just south of Texas.

    I’ve got to go take my meds before I bust a blood vessel.

  2. JohnMG says:

    …..”provide unmonitored phone lines…..”

    Yep! These changes go a long way toward…..”creating “an all-inclusive resort” for immigration detainees.” Why, I can almost see droves and droves of new illegals streaming across the border in order to get all the amenities lacking in the hovels they left behind.

    As RotP says, not only do I have to pay for such things as internet access, cable TV, groceries, insurance, medical care………oh, the list is endless……..I’m forced to pay taxes to provide for these CRIMINALS as well.

    By all means, let’s create our own “Club Med” for these poor unfortunates who “are only looking to improve their lot in life”.

    Bullshit!! WTF is going on??!! No lockdowns? Wear your own clothing? Unlimited visits? No pat-downs? Tutoring? Educational classes? Dances?

    These people are f***ing insane!! They had best hope I never get in position to implement MY policies for handling illegal immigrants. I would provide each of them FREE air passage back to central Mexico aboard a C-140.

    At approximately 17,000 feet I’d show them the door!!

  3. heykev says:

    “The “immigrant advocates” being La Raza, the ACLU and the SEIU…the plans are prompting protests by ICE’s union leaders”

    Someone’s reading out of the wrong playbook.

    The is crazy, with millions of AMERICANS out of work we’ve gotta pay for this?!?

    Why are we actually shipping them back immediately upon arrival. Bread, water a cot and some cold gruel would suffice. They should not be any better than then worst “rescue mission.”

  4. beautyofreason says:

    “art classes, bingo and continental breakfast…”

    My goodness. Sounds better than my accommodations in college. Where do I sign up? Opps, got to be a non-American criminal. My bad.

    I’m reminded of Al Capone’s old cell in Philadelphia – unlike other inmates he decorated it with oriental rugs, a radio and several oil paintings. The guards left his door unlocked. It looked like a high class hotel room. I wonder what money and corruption will buy illegal immigrants who push in masse? Thanks La Raza. Special privileges indeed.

    P.S. Slums in Mexico don’t have internet or art class. I suggest we make the prison the reflection of their own country – a small room with a bed.

    • Right of the People says:

      BeautyofReason,
      “-a small room with a bed.”

      That’s not what they had back in the hacienda it was more like a straw mat on the floor.

  5. jonny says:

    They want to treat these people like guests, because they are seen as future votes.

  6. confucius says:

    Sounds like Saudi Arabia’s art therapy program for terrorists.


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