By Alan Bean
I have written a number of posts about Operation Streamline, a dreadful and dehumanizing process of “expedited removal” that unfolds daily, primarily in border town courtrooms in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. To be honest, these posts don’t get a lot of attention. I’m hoping this opinion piece by Roberto Rodriguez, an assistant professor in Mexican-American studies at the University of Arizona, will be different.
Rodriguez draws attention to the stark racial undercurrents that most observers are too polite to notice. On a dozen occasions, he has taken college classes to witness these “cattle call” proceedings and they always come away sickened:
When my students leave the courtroom, they say they feel defiled, dirty … as if they have just witnessed something abominable, something that should not be taking place, something contrary to the US Constitution, something amoral. And all of it takes place compliments of our tax dollars.
Then there’s this:
There was a time when being apprehended on the border simply meant returning the migrants across the border … until someone decided that criminalization and incarceration could be profitable – literally, a big business. The more bodies, the more beds, the more money for the private prison industry.
I remember the first time I went to this operation, President George W. Bush was in office. When Sen. Barack Obama ran for and won the presidency, we all thought that this kangaroo court procedure finally would be shut down, something akin to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Instead, as written into the current comprehensive immigration reform proposal, this Expedited Indian Removal program will become three times bigger than its current form.
Wednesday, 09 October 2013
By Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, Truthout
On the left side of the courtroom, 60 to 70 short, dark-brown men and a few women are seated, handcuffed and shackled from the wrists, waist and ankles. All are silent. They take up about 20 rows, including the two corresponding to the jury box. The scene is surreal. Their chains, their color and height are very pronounced – yet in this courtroom, are hardly noticed by the lawyers and other court officials, including the judge.
This kangaroo court called Operation Streamline is America’s modern version of Expedited Indian Removal; chase, capture, pseudo-judicial proceeding, incarceration and deport. It convenes daily at 1:30 PM in Tucson, Arizona. (more…)