20 Pages


WithRobert S. Kahn

As the National Security Council privatized the war against Nicaragua, the Justice Department began to privatize immigration prisons. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) had no standards or regulations for the detention of children in 1985. The 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act set no standards at all for immigration detention centers, nor did it mandate special protection for children. The INS/Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) immigration prison in Laredo violated prison standards for detention of juveniles and violated state and federal laws, INS regulations, US district court and Supreme Court orders, and immigration case law- all as a matter of policy. The INS had never promulgated standards for juvenile prisons because the agency had never incarcerated undocumented children and babies in great numbers until the Central American wars of the 1980s. INS officials separated children from their parents and interrogated the children to elicit information about their parents.