Unit 2 Op-Ed: How Much Longer Will We Sit Back and Watch?

Miana Johnson
UNIV 111
Professor Joshua Galligan
1 November 2018
Final Writer’s Memo
I have been spending about two to three hours on the writing/revision project since turning in the first draft. I decided on this topic around October 15. The topic I rejected in favor of this one was family unification/separation. My topic has evolved from what I knew at first to what I know now because I know why certain states have more ICE detention facilities than others. I also know more about the solitary confinement that goes on in ICE detention facilities.
The specific revisions I have made to the project are my sources. At first, I had mostly sources that were opinionated and not peer reviewed. I got feedback from going to the Writing Center every week and doing peer review in class. I got suggestions about the structure of my sentences, paraphrasing my quotes, and my works cited page. I used this feedback by citing my sources correctly, checking over the structure of my sentences, and putting the direct quotes into my own words. I did not reject any of the suggestions given to me because I felt they would enhance my Op-Ed. I made these changes between the first and second draft and then second to final draft. These choices not only enhance my Op-Ed, but it allows the reader to be more engaged, understand the importance of my Op-Ed, and why we need to make a change about ICE detention facilities.
The global aspects I am most confident about is the focus, development, organization, and structure of my Op-Ed because it is well thought-out, remains on track, and structured in a way where it flows from point to point, paragraph to paragraph. In the humblest way to say this, I am not concerned about any global or local aspect. I am confident about every aspect because I have spent numerous hours fully digging deep into this Op-Ed with going to the Writing Center many times to strengthen my Op-Ed. The local aspects I am most confident about is the word choice within my Op-Ed. The word choice provokes a response in the reader to want to make a change about the practices of the ICE detention facilities.
If I had more time to work on the essay, I would focus on improving what aspects Professor Galligan says needs to be strengthened. I am not sure how much time it would take. I would like feedback on how you think I did with paraphrasing my quotes and how I did on my summaries and analyses. Based on the rubric, I am expecting an A because my Op-Ed has a clearly expressed point, causing readers to want to act and make a change. My Op-Ed persuades the reader through strong word choice that I have implemented, and it has a good hook and structure. I start off my Op-Ed with a quote to capture the reader’s attention and it remains structured and organized all the way until the end. My piece is written clear for readers to understand because I have fully explained everything in my Op-Ed. Finally, my op-ed is polite and respectful. I shine light on the harsh practices of ICE detention facilities, but I am not disrespectful towards it.

How Much Longer Will We Sit Back and Watch?
Solitary confinement is the action of holding a person captive in isolation with little to no human interaction. This happens in jails, prisons, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities (Patler et al. 1). Not one human should be kept in isolation for long periods of time, this can cause extreme cases of self-mutilation, disconnectedness with the world around them, depression, and serious mental problems (Patler et al. 2). This, and many other reasons are why it is crucial for us to spread awareness about the ethics and inhumane treatment of ICE Detention Facilities. “Tell Me How It Ends” by Valeria Luiselli talks about the struggles of immigrants before and after they cross the border. Before reading the book, I was ignorant about this topic, however, as I read, I started to grasp more information about ICE Detention Facilities and what they comprise. I have learned that ICE Detention Facilities treat their immigrants wrong in various ways: they have deadly freezing temperatures, there is a total lack of medical care, and immigrants’ civil rights are violated all the time. In ICE Detention Facilities, there are a lot of things that occur in these environments, however, we do not really hear about it at all or we hear about it when someone shines a light on it in a book like Luiselli’s. People are mistreated, freezing, overcrowded in tight spaces, and losing the quality of their mental health. According to Blitz et al., through research studies that have been conducted, results have shown that people who were demanded to move experience many emotional, mental, medical issues, and a lack in nutrition (2). It is so important to be treated with respect and care in all aspects of your life whether it be mental, physical, or emotional. If you are an innocent person just wanting and searching for a better life, you should not be treated like a guilty inmate. There is also proof that overcrowding intensifies health problems (Blitz et al. 2).
Needless to say, the mental health issues mentioned before can worsen because of the overcrowding. This is unacceptable. Overcrowding is an issue anywhere because people are more prone to fight and some cases, fight until death over the lack of necessary resources. For example, this is what happens in neighborhoods filled with people with low incomes; neighborhoods tend to be more violent and susceptible to gangs because of a lack in resources such as space, food, and shelter. Overcrowding in ICE detention facilities makes it more challenging for the officers to manage the facility and for the people living in them. Below is a visual of what these innocent immigrants have to go through:

(Ross D. Franklin, Reuters, Pool)
In the article, “Expanding Carceral Markets: Detention Facilities, ICE Contracts, and the Financial Interests of Punitive Immigration Policy”, the authors conducted a test to determine whether campaign donations made by prison companies and other contractors to legislators (carceral lobbying hypothesis) and, having a personally owned ICE detention facility in a lawmaker’s district (carceral representation hypothesis) raises the chance that lawmakers will co-sponsor more severe and violent immigration legislation in the United States. They examined two things: one was if campaign donations played a role in legislators supporting cruel immigration legislation and the second one is if legislators have constituents in support of detention facilities, are there more likely to be detention facilities in that state? (Collingwood et al. 1). They tested both hypotheses and found credible evidence for the carceral representation hypothesis. The results showed that private prison companies tend to put immigration detention centers in states where Congressional representatives feel that the residents of those states will be in support of the harsh treatment of the detention facilities. Therefore, the lawmakers coming from those specific locations are not retaliating to the financial needs of the companies in charge of the ICE detention facilities but instead, acknowledging the voters whose preferences agree with the rules and practices of ICE detention facilities (Collingwood et al. 8). In Texas and California, there are isolated areas where there are large numbers of ICE detention facilities. The isolation makes it easier to isolate immigrants and difficult for their conditions to be monitored. Immigrants’ civil rights are not taken into consideration. Civil rights should not be compromised, and profit should not be the main focus when building immigrant detention facilities. ICE detention facilities should not be built with Congress supporting the harsh treatment of the immigrants and the inhumane actions of the patrol officers. The results also confirm that private prison companies fully develop their buildings by preying on undocumented immigrants (Collingwood et al. 8). By fully supporting the harsh practices of ICE detention facilities, Congress preys on immigrants. As these facilities expand, we need to keep investigating what happens in the facilities.
In “The black box: Solitary confinement practices in a subset of U.S. immigrant detention facilities” the article conduct different analyses about solitary confinement in ICE detention facilities. “The findings suggest that immigrant detention facilities may be relying on solitary confinement to manage the behavior and needs of mentally ill detainees. Indeed, our analyses reveal that over 57% of solitary confinement cases involved an individual with a mental illness, though these individuals are estimated to make up only about 15% of the ICE detainee population” (Patler et al. 3). If facilities continue to keep mentally ill detainees in confinement in order to ‘control’ their behavior, this will only exacerbate the problem. Nobody is able to function mentally or emotionally if they are in confinement 23 hours a day, especially if they are already suffering from mental illness.
Overall, we as a country need to strictly investigate the rules, practices, and ethics of ICE detention facilities. Detainees should be treated with care no matter the circumstance. Immigrants should also be respected and be able to exercise their God-given, civil rights. Congress should care about the overall well-being and health of others, instead of profiting from the detention facilities. Immigrants are humans and should not be discounted. ICE detention facilities should house their detainees without solitary confinement and provide a place for them to interact with others. How much longer will it take for America to realize and take ownership of this unruly mess we’ve made?

Works Cited

Blitz, Brad K., et al. “Health Challenges in Refugee Reception: Dateline Europe 2016.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 30 November 2017, https://search-proquest-com.proxy.library.vcu.edu/docview/1988592617/fulltextPDF/F045B8014C2C4B91PQ/1?accountid=14780. Accessed 16 October 2018.

Collingwood, Loren et al. “Expanding Carceral Markets: Detention Facilities, ICE Contracts, and the Financial Interests of Punitive Immigration Policy.” Race and Social Problems, 2 July 2018, https://link-springer-com.proxy.library.vcu.edu/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs12552-018-9241-5.pdf. Accessed 16 October 2018.

Patler, Caitlin et al. “The Black Box Within a Black Box: Solitary Confinement Practices in a Subset of U.S. Immigrant Detention Facilities.” Journal of Population Research, 12 September 2018, https://link-springer-com.proxy.library.vcu.edu/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs12546-018-9209-8.pdf . Accessed 17 October 2018.
Franklin Ross D. Reuters. Pool. https://cdn01.dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/GettyImages-450883206-2.jpg. Accessed 26 October 2018.

“Health Challenges in Refugee Reception: Dateline Europe 2016”
In the article, “Health Challenges in Refugee Reception: Dateline Europe 2016”, it discusses and explains the various health challenges that refugees face living in detention facilities. It focuses on the overcrowding and the contagious diseases immigrants deal with. As more women and children coming into ICE detention facilities, there is an increased need for healthcare because young children have weaker immune systems, which means they need medicine and perhaps more medical attention. ICE detention facilities have certain guidelines that they should follow based on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees such as, having clean toilets, separate showers for women, protection for everyone, safe places for children in the facility, good health provision, and the availability of psychosocial programs.
The main author, Brad K. Blitz, has very strong credentials. He is a Professor of International Politics at Middlesex University & Senior Fellow of the Global Migration Centre, Graduate Institute, Geneva. This proves that he is a trustworthy and credible source to rely on information from. This article is organized well with chronological order and structure of this article flows from one point to the next. The article is not biased because the authors conducted research to test hypotheses and determine results, without being biased toward one group or opinion. The authors’ use of official terms such as, “UNHCR” and the fact that is has been peer-reviewed by experts shows the trustworthiness of the authors’ (ethos). The authors’ use of emotional appeal to immigrants that are suffering in the ICE detention facilities (pathos). Also, the great use of explanations while conducting studies and gathering information reveals the logical reasoning (logos) of the article.

“Expanding Carceral Markets: Detention Facilities, ICE Contracts, and the Financial Interests of Punitive Immigration Policy”
In this article, it discusses how ICE detention facilities are funded and what affects the funding of the buildings. They examined two things: one was if campaign donations played a role in legislators supporting cruel immigration legislation and the second one is if legislators have constituents in support of detention facilities, are there more likely to be detention facilities in that state? (Collingwood et al. 1). The results show how the donations made by private prison companies and other contractors to legislators are funded based on the support of Congress. It was shown that states that have Congressmen and Congresswomen who are in support of the views of their government officials have a higher chance of ICE detention facilities in that area.

The main author, Loren Collingwood has strong credentials as well. His credentials include a Ph.D. in Political Science, M.A. in Political Science, B.A. in Psychology, and his research fields include American Politics, Methods, Race and Ethnic Politics, and Immigration. This shows the ethos and the trustworthiness of the article based on the author. This article is organized with great structure, flowing from point to point. The article is not biased, and the authors are reliable sources because they provide charts with an abundance of information about detention facilities, ICE Contracts, and the Financial Interests of Punitive Immigration Policy. The authors’ use of explaining how immigrants are suffering and the reasons why more detention facilities are being built evokes an emotional response from the reader. The evidence of the experiments conducted and the explanations to support the argument reveals the logos of the argument.

Summary and Analysis: “The black box: Solitary Confinement Practices in a Subset of U.S. Immigrant Detention Facilities”
This article explains numerous things that immigrants experience while in ICE detention facilities. Many immigrants face mental issues, psychological problems, and a lack in nutritious food while living in ICE detention facilities. These things alone are not healthy for any individual, but these things collaboratively will exacerbate health problems. Immigrants who are detained already experience enough trials on their journey over here to the United States but for them to feel inferior to ones that should be their equal is an issue. Previous investigation found that people who are forced to move face emotional, psychological, health issues, and suicidal tendencies (2). Being in isolation for a long period of time (22-23 hours per day) is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy to experience.
The main author has strong credentials. Caitlin Patler has her Ph.D. and she is an assistant professor of Sociology at UC Davis. Her research focuses on migration, inequality, and socio-legal studies. She is currently conducting two longitudinal and mixed-methods research studies on: 1) immigration detention, deportation, and the intersections of immigration and criminal law, and 2) the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Dr. Patler’s research is informed by over 17 years of work with immigrants’ rights organizations focused on immigration detention, access to education for undocumented youth, and low-wage labor markets. She has volunteered with No More Deaths, a humanitarian aid organization on the U.S.-Mexico border. Her credentials shows that she is a trustworthy source. This article resembles ethical appeals (ethos) because it has been peer-reviewed by experts. The article resembles logical reasoning (logos) because it provides evidence to support and their findings. The article resembles emotional appeal (pathos) because it provokes a sense of sympathy in the reader when they discuss the mental struggles for the immigrants as a result of being in isolation for so long.