Utne Blogs > Politics

US Immigration’s Black Sites

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Politics, immigration, ICE, customs, The Nation, Bennett Gordon,

ICE OfficersThe United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are effectively making immigrants disappear. ICE is “confining people in 186 unlisted and unmarked subfield offices,” The Nation reports, “many in suburban office parks or commercial spaces revealing no information about their ICE tenants--nary a sign, a marked car or even a US flag.” The author, Jacqueline Stevens, uncovered a partial list of the sites, including one near the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport and another near the Chelsea piers in Manhattan. The sites have no often have no beds, no showers, and are free of any transparency and accountability of the regular justice system. A description of one of these sites, the Los Angeles subfield office called B-18, by director of Immigrant Rights for the ACLU by Ahilan Arulanantham, seems more fitting for a Latin American military junta than a US immigration detention center:

"You actually walk down the sidewalk and into an underground parking lot. Then you turn right, open a big door and voilà, you're in a detention center," Arulanantham explained. Without knowing where you were going, he said, "it's not clear to me how anyone would find it. What this breeds, not surprisingly, is a whole host of problems concerning access to phones, relatives and counsel."

Source: The Nation