A possie in Aussie

January 22, 2009

Will immigration detention centres save the economy?

Filed under: migration — Nayano @ 11:26 am
Tags: , ,

The International Detention Coalition is meeting today with the Australian Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Migration to discuss supervised release and bail requirements as alternatives to immigration detention. (See ABC News article ‘Refugee group urges detention centre relaxation’.  The Detention Coalition will also suggest that where possible detention centres to be converted to European-style centres from which people can come and go. The Rudd government promised that the public sector would manage the centres after the many cases of abuse and misery because of detention conditions. The then Labor immigration spokesman Tony Burke said, “There is one answer and one answer alone, and that is there have been enough breaches of this contract for the government to take action to terminate the privatisation of our detention centres. It was a bad idea from the start. It should not have taken place. It should not be continued.” (Labor breaks detention promise) But in fact they will remain in private hands for several years. Rachel Ball at the ABC’s ‘Unleashed’  goes so far as to say “The Rudd Government has made some big promises on immigration detention, but Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers continues to be a source of national shame.”

The Government has confirmed it would proceed with the retendering process started by the Howard government and controversial prison operator G4S will have its contract to run Australia’s immigration detention centres extended. Senator Evans, the Minister for Immigration, commented that “After weighing up all the issues and costs, and giving detailed and serious consideration to the options available, the Government has determined the most prudent way forward is to finalise the current tender process,”. Let’s not forget that there is big money involved in detention facilities. United State’s largest private prison company has detained close to 1 million people in the past 5 years. In the process, Corrections Corporation of America has made record profits. Critics suggest the CCA cuts corners on its detention contracts in order to increase its revenue at expense of humane conditions. Thanks to political connections and lobby spending, it dominates the industry of immigrant detention.(CCA No. 1 in Immigration Detention Contracts)

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