Sunday, February 25, 2007

Suffer the children...

skdadl at pogge points to a post at
verbena that exposes the horrible plight of Kevin, a Canadian child and his family, currently held in a detention center in Texas. The facility is a privately run, for profit, conversion of a maximum security penitentiary. Amy Goodman's interview with Kevin and his father Majid is up at
democracy now.

Pending any sort of charge or action on the part of either the Canadian or American governments, this family is lost in legal limbo. This is where they are being held:

T. Don Hutto Residential Center
1001 Welch St., P.O. Box 1063
Taylor, Texas 76574

Total Beds: 512
Customer Base: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
ACA Accreditation: Yes
Tour Contact: Warden Liles 512-352-3502

A Residential Center indeed. The sort of residence where a Canadian child is kept in a cell and left to languish. The kind of residence where an innocent, Canadian youth develops asthma, sleeps next to an open toilet and waits. Waits for some help. The kind of help that Mr. Peter MacKay might render between rounds of lapping at Ms. Katrina Boots' heels and sharing manly tears with Buddy, the neighbour's absorbent dog. As the child of immigrants and the first of my family born in Canada, I am sickened by what's been done to this family. Perhaps Mr. MacKay might dial the number for Warden Liles, listed above and arrange a tour on the behalf of an unjustly imprisoned Canadian child, on behalf of Canada. He could even invite Condi to join him, it would be like a second date.

It seems, from the company's web site, that CCA has been running private detention facilities for 20 years. All evidence would indicate that in George Bush's America, they are indeed at the forefront of a booming growth industry. One thing I found deeply weird is what looks like the irradiation of the prisoner and guard in the graphic at the top of their page. Creepy shit.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement site paints a rather glowing picture of a family friendly facility. Somethig that struck me was this:

"The facility includes three large shaded pavilions outdoors and spacious outdoor play areas."

If that is so, why is it that during the telephone interview with Amy Goodman, the boy says this?

"Kevin says: “I want to be free. I want go to outside. I want to go home to Canada.”

I want to go outside. The kid is nine. It's one thing to have spacious play areas. It's another thing to let kids use them.

That boy is every bit as Canadian as I am. He was born here and this is the only home he has ever known. His parents had fled Iran, seeking asylum in Canada. In December of 2005, they were deported by Canada and returned to Iran. In Iran they were imprisoned, abused and threatened. Fearing for their lives, they once again fled. A case like this shines a light on the central lie of the far right. These are the very people that they pretend to support. These are the people that want to see change in the rule and regime of a nation that we are told threatens our freedoms. These are the allies that we need and must support if there is to be substantive and positive change in the balance of power in the middle east. These are the very fucking people that the right claims that we need to fight endless, bloody war to liberate.

If everything that the far right proclaims about the brutality of Iran is true. Then should this young family be returned there, they will surely perish. These are people fleeing a repressive regime. They have fallen into the clutches of another repressive regime. The American government has committed a crime against this Canadian child and his parents, refugees from a sworn enemy. The circumstance of their abduction is both chilling and repugnant, it smacks of institutional racism.

Why is it, that only one family, on a Canadian airline with no U.S. stops or destinations, is detained for failure to produce a visa? The flight made an emergency landing in Puerto Rico, after a passenger fell ill. Why would any passenger on that flight have a visa for the United States? Why were they not all detained for failure to produce such papers? Why has our neighbour and ally abducted and imprisoned a Canadian child? I would like to see some answers and a response from the Canadian Government. I will be writing my letter to Mr. MacKay in a moment. I urge you to write to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and demand that Kevin be brought home, that his family's request for asylum be revisited.

You can write to Mr. MacKay here:


CC said...

Oh, come on, PSA. It can't be that bad. After all, even the detainees at Guantanamo Bay got two types of fruit.

Lindsay Stewart said...

maybe you've got a point cc. won't someone please get duncan hunter on the teevee to show us plates of chicken and rice.

Mike said...

Gosh, it looks nice, better than winter in Canada. But it reminds of some other place....oh what is its name?

I'll figure it out, don't worry.

Godammitkitty said...

Great post, PSA! I've updated my post to include links to you (and CC's "Dear Blogging Tories.." Feb 27 post)--Best wishes, GDK