Prisons profit from policies no one knows about

Kevin Rutledge on March 07, 2015
Gov. Mike Huckabee was asked how he felt about children being detained at for-profit prisons on the U.S.-Mexico border. He answered by saying he was unfamiliar with the issue, "So it would be a little disingenuous for me to tell you what I’m gonna do to fix a problem I’m not aware of. So, I couldn’t answer that.”

My question to Gov. Huckabee was on children detained in immigrant detention centers built and operated by for-profit prions that are subsidized from the U.S. taxpayers.  Earlier this year, Gov. Mike Huckabee expressed his position as governor to allow in-state college tuition available to children of immigrants who were brought into this country:

“You don't punish a child for something his parents did,”

“Does he get the scholarship and go on to college so that he can become perhaps a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, a teacher?” Huckabee said. “Or do we say, ‘No son, you’re as far as you can go. You need to pick tomatoes.’ ”

“I don’t know how in the world that we’re going to punish that kid for something he had no control over,” Huckabee added.

Gov. Huckabee began answering my question on the role private prisons played during his time as governor in Arkansas, but said he was unfamiliar with children who are being imprisoned.  “In immigrant detention centers, yes.” I replied.

The international agreement I was referring to was the Convention of the Rights of the Child, where only 3 countries, including the United States, Somalia, and South Sudan did not ratify the human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly 25 years ago to protect children from discrimination and abuse.

From CNN Money’s Wall street bets on prison growth from border crisis, during August of 2014, stock prices soared a combined 15% for the private prisons Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group.  These private prisons own and operate immigrant detention centers, after thousands of immigrant children entered the United States.

"Yeah, I haven’t been to one.  I couldn’t speak to it.  So it would be a little disingenuous for me to tell you what I’m gonna do to fix a problem I’m not aware of.  So, I couldn’t answer that,”  Gov. Huckabee continued in his response.  He was open to me sending him additional information to learn more specifics and details to become more familiar with for-profit prisons who own, operate, and run immigrant detention centers where immigrant children are being treated poorly while detained.

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Kevin Rutledge

Kevin Rutledge AFSC Governing Under the Influence Presidential Campaign Project

Kevin Rutledge is the Grassroots Education Coordinator with AFSC’s Presidential Campaign Project in Iowa.  Kevin has deep family roots in Quaker activism for peace and social justice.  A graduate from Iowa State University in Sociology and Criminal Justice, his previous work includes: United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) organizer, Public Citizen online organizer to overturn Citizens United, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, and a youth residential treatment facility.  Kevin hopes to one day return to Brazil and live by the beach.

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill .