For-profit jail not only immoral, it would hurt us financially, too


Editor:

The Good Friday vigil brought Christians, Jews, Muslims and others together to protest the ICE detention center planned for Evanston. Activists from Casper, Laramie and parts of Colorado joined us. We noted that the Holy Family were once immigrants, exiled to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous search.

Apparently, Wyoming has forgotten the shameful lessons of Heart Mountain. The for-profit jail proposed by MTC in Uinta County would be a despicable reenactment. We must never again be guilty of such a monstrous assault on human rights!

MTC has faced charges of unlawful strip searches, sexual assaults, suicides, wrongful deaths, violations of civil rights, employment discrimination and non-payment of wages. In five suits between 2001 and 2007, the corporation paid $9,005,610 in addition to undisclosed amounts in three other settlements. The residents and government of Evanston and the county should be encouraged to explore more principled revenue sources to fill their critical diversification needs. We must not invite this depravity into our state!

Strong families make strong nations, but today the value of the Latino community is greatly underappreciated. They are our fellow humans, not “alien” or “illegal” and certainly not “criminal.” They are merely undocumented, a civil technicality no different from some of our very own ancestors who for centuries have washed up on our shores.

Debbie Bovee, state representative for HD36 from Casper, and her granddaughter Meeshla shared some amazing facts about the remarkable impact of Dreamers on our economy. They said 1.3 million DACA recipients and potential enrollees contribute an estimated $2 billion a year to state and local taxes. Repealing DACA would lead to $60 billion in forgone federal revenue over 10 years.

A path to citizenship for these young adults makes good fiscal sense.

It is one of our duties as U.S. citizens to challenge injustice. Not infallible, ill-advised politicians can and do craft unjust laws and administrators fashion unreasonable policies. It will surely prove a grave error to rupture millions of families — wounding good people, seizing hard-working parents, lacerating dreams. 

We must insist that our public servants rectify this situation on behalf of the people of America.

Truly, two “wrongs” never make a “right.”

 

Geri Maria Johnson

Cheyenne

More In Opinions