Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Chinese American internment camps in the US

For people who wonder "Why does it matter to me if undocumented immigrants are botted out of this country?", I have a response for you:

1) There are about 11-12 Million undocumented immigrants in this country, 1 Million of whom are Asian American.

2) The Department of Homeland Security as headed by Michael Chertoff recently awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellog Brown and Root (Vice President Cheney's former company) a contract of up to $385 MILLION to build internment camps within the United States.

You might ask, who would the US intern on its own lands, and why?

Over at DailyKos I found this posting that described how 39,000 Chinese American immigrants and their families who have been denied citizenship in the US but who China refuses to allow reentry, are going to be housed in internment camps IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

These people have not been found guilty of any crimes, except that they would like greater opportunities for their kids and themselves. In a few weeks, nearly 40,000 Chinese immigrants and their families will be interned. Furthermore, under the new immigration "reform" bill being proposed and debated in the Senate, there are measures for the mandatory and infinite internment of undocumented immigrants and their families - a possible total of 12 MILLION people.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Chertoff said that China last year readmitted 800 people. But that made only a small dent in what he described as a backlog of thousands illegally in the U.S.

"The math is pretty easy -- at that rate, we wind up with increasing numbers of migrants who, if we're going to detain them, we're going to have to house at enormous expense," Chertoff said.

He added: "We can't be in the position any longer where we are paying the burden and bearing the burden for countries that won't cooperate with us and take their own citizens back."

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately return a call for comment.

Currently, 687 Chinese are being held in federal detention facilities, at a daily rate of $95 each, while some 38,000 have been released on bond or under a monitoring program, such as wearing an electronic surveillance bracelet, the Homeland Security Department said later Tuesday.


Chertoff also said Homeland Security would open detention facilities in the next few weeks to house entire families of illegal immigrants who hope to bring their children along in order to avoid jail time. "It'll be humane, but we're not going to let people get away with this," he said.

Chertoff's remarks comes as the Homeland Security Department aims to end its "catch and release" immigration policy by Oct. 1. After that date, all illegal immigrants will be held in U.S. detention centers until they can be returned to their nation of citizenry.

The DHS's decision to end the "catch and release" program of holding undocumented immigrants in jails with the regular inmate population (hardcore criminals) comes as The Army Corps of Engineers awarded Halliburton its newest golden goose.

If you're not pissed as a concerned American, bleeding-heart liberal, or descendent of immigrants, I suggest that you be concerned about where your tax dollars are going, since KB&R claims it will cost them $95/day to house each immigrant. (Remember folks, this is Halliburton/KB&R, the company that gave the US government and taxpayers a $27 MILLION bill for oil that cost them $82,ooo.)

Halliburton Subsidiary Gets Contract to Add Temporary Immigration Detention Centers

New York Times

Feb. 3 - The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract worth up to $385 million for building temporary immigration detention centers to Kellogg Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary...

KBR would build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space...

A spokesman for the corps, Clayton Church, said that the centers could be at unused military sites or temporary structures and that each one would hold up to 5,000 people.

"When there's a large influx of people into the United States, how are we going to feed, house and protect them?" Mr. Church asked. "That's why these kinds of contracts are there."


In recent months, the Homeland Security Department has promised to increase bed space in its detention centers to hold thousands of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation. In the first quarter of the 2006 fiscal year, nearly 60 percent of the illegal immigrants apprehended from countries other than Mexico were released on their own recognizance.

Domestic security officials have promised to end the releases by increasing the number of detention beds. Last week, domestic security officials announced that they would expand detaining and swiftly deporting illegal immigrants to include those seized near the Canadian border .
All I can say is: CALL YOUR SENATORS and tell them you oppose ANY Senate bill that is modeled along H.R. 4437 (House anti-immigrant bill) and that you support an earned legalization program for the 11 million undocumented in the country
and a family reunification provision for hardworking undocumented immigrants.

3) Undocumented immigrants who become US citizens get to vote. The reason that Asian Americans have less political clout than we should given our average income and education level is that we don't have the numbers that Latinos or African Americans or Americans of European heritage do. Unfortunately most politicians only listen to money or electoral power (numbers of voters.) We give a good amount, but for the most part we don't get listened to despite our contributions.

We don't have the numbers because of xenophobic anti-Asian legislation like the Chinese Exclusion Act which quickly broadened into "exclude all of East, South, and Pacific Asia." When we raise our voices at the voting booths, we will be more able to shape public policy.


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