Silent Killing: The Inhumanity of U.S. Immigration Detention

Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

Every day, hundreds of migrants and refugees from around the world arrive at the US/Mexico border to ask for help. Yet, rather than welcome them into our nation, we lock them up instead. There are currently over 38,000 men, women and children being detained in over 200 immigration detention centers spread out across the United States (Freedom for Immigrants, 2019). While some spend weeks in detention, others spend years. In his most recent JLAG editorial, Johnny Finn argued that academics could no longer maintain a detached gaze given current conditions at our border, and I concur. We can no longer remain silent as migrants are dehumanized and locked up in for-profit prisons; as children are put in cages and denied access to soap, toothbrushes or even diapers; and as our colleagues and human rights workers are prosecuted in federal court for providing food, water and shelter to people in need. We need to use our knowledge, expertise and voices to stop the dehumanization and criminalization of migrants and their allies at our borders.