Saturday, September 23, 2017

Miscellaneous News: Detention Center Lawsuit, Suppressed Refugee Report, World Citizenship Poll

Victory for Immigrant Hunger Strikers: Lawsuit Challenges Slave Wages at Private Jail

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout
NWDC protest. Photo: Thomas Soerenes/The News Tribune/AP
September 22, 2017
For three years now, incarcerated immigrants have staged hunger strikes and work stoppages to protest conditions at the Northwest Detention Center, an immigration jail in Tacoma, Washington, run by a private prison company that pays detainees as little as $1 a day to work in the jail.

"This week folks were offered chips or a soup for several nights of waxing the floors, so not even $1 [per] day," one person incarcerated in the jail recently reported to NWDC Resistance, an immigrant-led group fighting to end the deportation and detention of immigrants.

Five hunger strikes have been held so far this year, with participants and whistleblowers facing solitary confinement, threats of forced feeding and other forms of retaliation from prison authorities, according to NWDC Resistance.

Their efforts paid off on Wednesday when Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit against GEO Group, a massive private prison firm that runs the Northwest Detention Center under a federal contract.[…]

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For earlier coverage of the Northwest Detention Center, go to:

Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Somini Sengupta, New York Times
September 18, 2017
WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials, under pressure from the White House to provide a rationale for reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year, rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost.
Photo: James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

The draft report, which was obtained by The New York Times, contradicts a central argument made by advocates of deep cuts in refugee totals as President Trump faces an Oct. 1 deadline to decide on an allowable number. The issue has sparked intense debate within his administration as opponents of the program, led by Mr. Trump’s chief policy adviser, Stephen Miller, assert that continuing to welcome refugees is too costly and raises concerns about terrorism.[…]

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World Citizenship Is More Popular Than You Might Think

A poll of more than 20,000 people in 18 countries, conducted by GlobeScan for the BBC World Service from December 2015 through April 2016, found that 51 percent of respondents saw themselves more as global citizens than as citizens of their own countries.

By Lawrence Wittner, History News Network
September 17, 2017
Has nationalism captured the hearts and minds of the world’s people?

It certainly seems to have emerged as a powerful force in recent years. Trumpeting their alleged national superiority and hatred of foreigners, political parties on the far right have made their biggest political advances since the 1930s. After the far right’s startling success, in June 2016, in getting a majority of British voters to endorse Brexit―British withdrawal from the European Union (EU)―even mainstream conservative parties began to adopt a chauvinist approach. Using her Conservative Party conference to rally support for leaving the EU, British Prime Minister Theresa May declared contemptuously: “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere.”[…]

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