A coalition of immigrants rights groups and others concerned about the use of private prisons to detain undocumented immigrants will hold a press conference today, 12:30 p.m. in front of the Evo A. DeConcini Federal Courthouse, 405 W. Congress St.
From the coalition's press release:
The Coalition will announce local and national days of action (February 19-21) to call for an end to the federal district court program known as Operation Streamline.
Every day as part of Operation Streamline, at least 70 migrant men and women are collectively processed and given criminal sentences prior to their deportation. Most, if not all of these migrants are sent to private prisons where companies profit handsomely from their incarceration. In 2011, contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) accounted for 20 and 14 percent of revenue for CCA and GEO Group, respectively.
As discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform mounts in Congress, Senator McCain and the “gang of eight” have proposed an expansion of Operation Streamline and other federal felony prosecutions of people crossing the Mexican border looking for work or to reunite with family.
For many who have witnessed a Streamline hearing, the mere image of men and women shackled at the wrist, belly, and ankles being collectively herded through the legal process is enough to shock the conscience. Streamline raises serious and troubling questions about constitutionally protected due process, the growth of private prisons, the deepening criminalization of migrants and the exploding costs of contemporary immigration enforcement.
Press conference speakers will include Marcelo Ruiz, Isabel Garcia (Derechos Humanos), Caroline Isaacs (AFSC), Andy Silverman, and community faith leaders. They will be accompanied by their supporters and a street theater performance.