ACCESS News: Renowned Immigration Attorney - Barbara Hines


Uploaded by ACCESSNewsUS on 20.11.2011

Transcript:
WE HAVE A LONG PROUD YET VOLATILE HISTORY
OF IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA.
FROM HEARTWARMING IMAGES OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
LEADING TO ELLIS ISLAND,
TO GUT-WRENCHING IMAGES
OF THE HUTTO FAMILY DETENTION CENTER IN TEXAS.
IMMIGRATION IS A POWERFUL POLITICALLY CHARGED ISSUE.
DURING THE FOUNDING OF AMERICA,
WE STRUGGLED WITH WHO SHOULD HAVE
THE PRIVILEGE TO BE HERE AND WHO SHOULD HAVE RIGHTS.
MASSACHUSETTS SOUGHT BELIEVERS,
BUT PUNISHED DESCENT.
VIRGINIA SOUGHT WORKERS, BUT FOUND THEM IN SLAVES.
PENNSYLVANIA SOUGHT CITIZENS,
BUT CULTIVATED THEM FROM FOREIGN LANDS.
VIRGINIA, MASSACHUSETTS AND PENNSYLVANIA
WERE EACH PRO-IMMIGRATION,
BUT NOT NECESSARILY PRO-IMMIGRANT.
TO IMMIGRATE MEANS TO ENTER AND SETTLE IN A COUNTRY
TO WHICH ONE IS NOT NATIVE.
TO IMMIGRATE MEANS TO LEAVE A COUNTRY
TO SETTLE IN ANOTHER.
WELCOME TO "ACCESS NEWS."
A PROGRAM THAT ENCOURAGES US TO THINK ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS
TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN.
HOW CAN WE, THE PEOPLE,
BECOME INVOLVED THROUGH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT?
ON "ACCESS NEWS" TODAY,
WE'LL DISCUSS IMMIGRATION
WITH RENOWNED ATTORNEY AND HUMAN RIGHTS CHAMPION
PROFESSOR BARBARA HINES.
YOU'RE WATCHING "ACCESS NEWS," HANDS-ON NEWS.
BARBARA HINES HAS RECEIVED MANY AWARDS
INCLUDING TWO FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIPS.
SHE HAS ALSO BEEN RECOGNIZED FOR HER EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
AS WELL AS A TOP LITIGATION ATTORNEY.
SHE IS A CLINICAL PROFESSOR
AND CO-DIRECTOR OF THE IMMIGRATION CLINIC
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN.
HER WORK EXEMPLIFIES WHAT CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
AND CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY IS ALL ABOUT.
BARBARA, WELCOME TO "ACCESS NEWS".
THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME.
AS A LEADER IN IMMIGRATION LAW,
HOW IS IMMIGRATION CHANGED OVER THE LAST CENTURY?
WELL, OVER THE LAST CENTURY,
OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS HAVE GOTTEN MORE RESTRICTIVE.
HOWEVER, WE HAD NO IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS
BEFORE THE EARLY PART OF THE 20th CENTURY.
FOR MANY-- THE FIRST IMMIGRATION LAWS
ACTUALLY FAVORED EUROPEANS,
AND DIDN'T REALLY ALLOW FOR IMMIGRATION OF ASIANS AT ALL.
IN 1965, OUR LAWS WERE LIBERALIZED REALLY
TO PROMOTE SORT OF THE NOTION OF FAMILY UNITY
AND FAMILY REUNIFICATION,
AND PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
WERE ABLE TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES.
BUT SINCE 1996, WHICH WAS THE LAST
MAJOR IMMIGRATION REFORM,
OUR LAWS HAVE BECOME VERY RESTRICTIVE,
MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE
TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES.
WHAT IT IS ABOUT THE U.S. THAT DRAWS IMMIGRANTS?
WELL, I THINK THERE ARE MANY WONDERFUL THINGS
ABOUT OUR COUNTRY.
OUR COUNTRY HAS ALWAYS BEEN A MELTING POT.
BUT I THINK WE HAVE REALLY SORT OF
A SCHIZOPHRENIC RELATIONSHIP
BECAUSE ON THE ONE HAND,
WE DO ACCEPT MANY, MANY IMMIGRANTS
TO THE UNITED STATES.
ON THE OTHER HAND, WE HAVE HAD A HISTORY
OF MAKING PEOPLE LEAVE THE UNITED STATES.
ASIANS, AFTER THEY BUILT THE RAILROADS,
MEXICANS, DURING THE DEPRESSION,
AND THINGS OF THAT SORT.
BUT REALLY, OUR COUNTRY IS KNOWN
FOR BEING A MELTING POT WITH GREAT OPPORTUNITIES
FOR IMMIGRANTS TO COME TO OUR COUNTRIES.
YOU SAY THAT A LOT OF IMMIGRANTS COME TO THE U.S.
WITH TODAY'S LAWS, HAS IT BECOME SO STRICT
THAT IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR SOMEONE
TO MOVE TO AMERICA LEGALLY?
WELL, OUR LAWS ARE VERY RESTRICTIVE,
AND THAT IS, I THINK, A GOOD QUESTION.
IF YOU QUALIFY UNDER LIMITED FAMILY CATEGORIES,
MARRIED TO A UNITED STATES CITIZEN,
HAVE A CHILD WHO'S OVER THE AGE OF 21.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT,
THERE'S A LOT OF DISCOURSE ABOUT HOW PEOPLE JUST COME
TO THE UNITED STATES
TO HAVE CHILDREN, AND THEN THEY CAN IMMIGRATE.
BUT REALLY, YOU HAVE TO WAIT
UNTIL YOUR CHILD IS 21 YEARS OLD
BEFORE YOU COULD EVEN FILE
TO GET STATUS IN THE UNITED STATES.
BUT THEY'RE VERY LIMITED CATEGORIES
BASED ON CERTAIN FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS,
AND BASED ON EMPLOYMENT FOR THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE,
WORKERS IN THIS COUNTRY,
PEOPLE THAT ARE DOING WHAT I THINK JOBS
THAT MANY AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE UNWILLING TO DO.
THERE'S REALLY NO WAY FOR THEM
TO LEGALLY COME TO THE UNITED STATES.
WE DON'T HAVE A PROCESS FOR WORKERS,
GENERALLY, TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES.
I'M GLAD YOU'VE MENTIONED THE TOPIC
ABOUT RELATED TO WORKERS.
A LOT OF IMMIGRANTS CREATE REVENUE FOR THE U.S.
IF THAT'S TRUE, THEN WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE
OPPOSE IMMIGRATION?
WELL, I THINK IMMIGRATION IS A VERY, VERY COMPLICATED ISSUE.
AND I THINK, UNFORTUNATELY, IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT IMMIGRATION.
I THINK SOMETIMES WHEN WE TALK ABOUT IMMIGRATION,
WE'RE REALLY TALKING ABOUT A DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE
IN THE UNITED STATES.
WE ARE-- WE DO HAVE MANY, MANY IMMIGRANTS
COME IN TO THE UNITED STATES, PRIMARILY, FROM LATIN AMERICA,
ASIA, SOUTH ASIA.
AND THE COMPLEXION AND THE DEMOGRAPHIC MAKE UP
OF OUR COUNTRY IS CHANGING.
AND I THINK SOMETIMES WHEN YOU HEAR THE SORT OF
THE VITRIOLIC DISCUSSION ABOUT IMMIGRANTS,
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT IMMIGRATION,
IT'S ALSO I THINK ABOUT RACE,
AND WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES,
PARTICULARLY, IN A TIME OF ECONOMIC INSECURITY
AND RECESSION.
AND WE'VE SEEN THIS HISTORICALLY BEFORE,
ANTI-IMMIGRANT SENTIMENT IS GENERALLY AT ITS HIGHEST
IN TIMES OF ECONOMIC CRISIS.
THAT'S REALLY INTERESTING.
I'VE NEVER REALIZED THAT, THAT'S REALLY INTERESTING.
DO YOU FEEL THAT THERE'S SOME DISCRIMINATION,
SOME ROLE OF DISCRIMINATION FOR IMMIGRANTS?
PARTICULARLY NOW, YES.
BECAUSE WHAT I THINK IS THAT WE HAVE A POPULATION
OF 10 MILLION TO 11 MILLION UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS
WHO ARE OUR GARDENERS AND OUR CHILD CARE WORKERS,
AND THE PEOPLE TAKING CARE OF OUR ELDERLY PARENTS.
I DO WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT THERE ARE ALSO MANY IMMIGRANTS
THAT ARE ENTREPRENEURS, SILICON VALLEY,
AND WHAT YOU HAD SAID, CREATED GREAT WEALTH
THROUGH THE UNITED STATES.
BUT I THINK WHEN PEOPLE SORT OF TALK
STEREOTYPICALLY ABOUT IMMIGRANTS,
THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT LOWER WAGE WORKERS.
BUT, ONCE AGAIN, THESE AREN'T JOBS
THAT AMERICANS WILL TAKE.
AND SO, WE AREN'T GOING TO BE ABLE TO SEND
ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE HOME,
AND SO I DO THINK THE IDEA IS MAYBE
IF YOU MAKE THEIR LIFE SO UNPLEASANT,
THEY'RE GOING TO LEAVE,
BUT THAT REALLY ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.
AND IF THEY DID, I THINK IT WOULD BE DEVASTATING
FOR OUR ECONOMY.
YOU KNOW IMMIGRATION IS SUCH A HOT POLITICAL TOPIC RIGHT NOW.
DO YOU THINK THAT WE SHOULD BE PLAYING POLITICS
WITH THE LIVES OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE JUST SEARCHING FOR A BETTER LIFE?
NO, I REALLY DON'T.
AND I THINK THAT IT HAS BECOME SUCH A DIVISIVE POLITICAL ISSUE.
UNFORTUNATELY, LIKE MANY ISSUES TODAY
IN OUR POLITICAL SCENE.
BUT BASICALLY, I THINK THAT WE DO HAVE TO FIGURE OUT
WHAT WE'RE GONNA DO WITH THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN HERE
FOR A REALLY LONG TIME, WHO ARE A PART OF OUR COMMUNITY,
WHO HAVE CHILDREN THAT ARE BORN HERE,
AND DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE SOLUTION.
DEFINITELY IN THAT PART, I AGREE WITH YOU.
I'D LIKE TO MOVE ON TO A SEGMENT WITH DON MILLER
WHO WILL TALK JUST A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR GOVERNMENT,
AND WE WILL CONTINUE OUR CONVERSATION WITH YOU.
OKAY, THANK YOU.
THANKS, TAMARA.
HI, I'M DON MILLER.
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN APPROVED
WHERE AT NOT FOR THE PROMISE OF A BILL OF RIGHTS.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS THE COLLECTIVE NAME
FOR THE FIRST 10 AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
WHICH LIMIT THE POWER OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT.
THESE LIMITATIONS PROTECT OUR NATURAL RIGHTS OF LIBERTY
AND PROPERTY INCLUDING FREEDOM OF RELIGION,
SPEECH, FREE PRESS,
FREE ASSEMBLY,
AS WELL AS THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.
JAMES MADISON, THE FATHER OF THE CONSTITUTION
INTRODUCED THE BILL OF RIGHTS
TO THE FIRST U.S. CONGRESS IN 1789.
TEN OF THE TWELVE AMENDMENTS HE PROPOSED WERE ACCEPTED
AS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TWO YEARS LATER.
DISCUSSED AND DEBATED EVERY DAY,
OUR BILL OF RIGHTS INFLUENCES THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION
AND OUR LEGAL SYSTEM.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS ARE VITAL
IN BOTH OUR LAW AND OUR GOVERNMENT.
LEARNING ABOUT OUR RIGHTS HELPS MAKE US MORE INFORMED CITIZENS.
LET'S WATCH.
WHEN THE FOUNDING FATHERS MET HERE
IN PHILADELPHIA'S INDEPENDENCE HALL
TO CREATE A NEW FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
FOR THE UNITED STATES,
ALL THE DELEGATES UNDERSTOOD THAT SUCH A STEP WAS NECESSARY.
BUT HOW MUCH POWER THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE
WAS MUCH DEBATED.
HAVING WON A WAR WHICH GAVE THEM FREEDOM,
THE RIGHT TO OWN PROPERTY,
AND THE RIGHT OF SELF GOVERNMENT.
THE QUESTION REMAINED,
WHAT COULD THEY DO TO ENSURE
THAT EACH SUCCESSIVE GENERATION OF AMERICANS
WOULD ALSO HAVE THOSE SAME RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS?
THEY WANTED THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE PROTECTED.
THEY WANTED THESE RIGHTS SUCH AS THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS,
AND PROTECTION AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES,
AND SEIZURES WRITTEN DOWN
AND MADE PART OF THE NATION'S GOVERNING DOCUMENT.
AS STATED IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT
THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL,
THAT THEY WERE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR
WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS,
THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY,
AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.
THE ANTI-FEDERALIST INSISTED UPON A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
THAT DERIVED NOT FROM GOVERNMENT,
BUT INSTEAD WHERE THE NATURAL RIGHTS
OF ALL THE PEOPLE INDEPENDENT OF THE GOVERNMENT.
TO SATISFY THESE CONCERNS,
AN ENSURE RATIFICATION OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION,
A BILL OF RIGHTS, A DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
OR AS THEY ARE NOW CALLED FUNDAMENTAL CIVIL RIGHTS
WAS PROMISED.
IN THE SUMMER OF 1788,
A PROPOSED DRAFT OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS
WAS CIRCULATED AMONG THE STATES.
MANY OF THESE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS DERIVED FROM ABUSES OF POWER
THAT THE COLONIST SUFFERED UNDER OPPRESSIVE BRITISH RULE.
IN 1690, THE FIRST COLONIAL NEWSPAPER
BOSTON'S "PUBLICK OCCURRENCES"
WAS SUPPRESSED AFTER ONE ISSUE.
IN 1760, FOUNDING FATHER JAMES OTIS
ARGUED AGAINST ILLEGAL SEARCHES CONDUCTED BY BRITISH SOLDIERS.
FROM 1765 THROUGHOUT THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR,
COLONISTS WERE FORCED AGAINST THEIR WILL
TO HOUSE THESE SAME SOLDIERS IN THEIR HOMES.
IN 1775, BRITISH TROOPS MARCHED ON LEXINGTON IN CONCORDE
TO CONFISCATE COLONIAL ARMS AND AMMUNITION.
BRITISH AUTHORITIES DID NOT ALWAYS ALLOW COLONIST
THE SAME RIGHTS OF DUE PROCESS OR SPEEDY TRIALS
THAT ENGLISHMEN WERE GUARANTEED.
AND COLONISTS FACED EXCESSIVE BAILS AND CRUEL
AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS.
WITH THE PROPOSED BILL OF RIGHTS,
MOST OF THE ANTI-FEDERALISTS WERE SATISFIED
THAT THE PEOPLE'S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
WOULD BE SAFEGUARDED.
SINCE THEIR ADOPTION,
THESE AMENDMENTS HAVE DONE THEIR JOB.
AMERICANS IN THE 21st CENTURY
STILL HAVE AS MUCH FREEDOM AND AS MANY RIGHTS,
PERHAPS EVEN MORE THAN THE FOUNDING FATHERS.
ANTI-FEDERALISTS OPPOSED A LARGE AND STRONG FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
IN FAVOR OF INDIVIDUAL AND POWERFUL STATES' RIGHTS.
EVEN TODAY, WE DEBATE AND DISCUSS
THE BALANCE OF POWER BETWEEN THE STATES
AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE ANTI-FEDERALIST
LIKE PATRICK HENRY AND SAMUEL ADAMS,
WE WOULD NOT HAVE THE BILL OF RIGHTS
AND AS MUCH INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AS WE DO NOW.
ANTI-FEDERALIST WERE ALSO CONCERNED
THAT THE NEW POSITION OF PRESIDENT
MIGHT EVOLVE INTO A KING-LIKE ABUSE OF POWER.
DO YOU THINK THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TODAY
HAS TOO MUCH POWER?
SHARE YOUR OPINIONS,
JOIN THE DISCUSSION AT OUR WEBSITE ACCESSNEWS.US.
THAT'S ".US" FOR UNITED STATES.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
FOR "ACCESS NEWS," I'M DON MILLER.
THANK YOU, DON.
WE HAVE WITH US BARBARA HINES ON "ACCESS NEWS"
WHO IS AN EXPERT ON IMMIGRATION.
BARBARA, I'D LIKE TO ASK
HOW CAN IMMIGRATION LAWS IMPROVE?
YOU SUPPORT THE DREAM ACT,
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THAT ACT?
YES, THE DREAM ACT WHICH IS THE ACRONYM FOR THE LAW
WOULD PROVIDE LEGAL STATUS FOR STUDENTS WHO CAME
TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE THEY WERE 16,
AND WHO HAVE FINISHED COLLEGE
OR HAVE COMPLETED TWO YEARS OF COLLEGE INITIALLY,
AND THEN LATER FINISHED OR SERVED IN THE MILITARY.
AND I THINK THAT'S REALLY A GOOD EXAMPLE
OF WHO-- MANY OF OUR IMMIGRANTS ARE.
THESE ARE THE VALEDICTORIANS OF HIGH SCHOOLS,
THESE ARE THE FUTURE DOCTORS,
THESE ARE THE FUTURE TEACHERS,
AND THESE ARE STUDENTS WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES
THAT THE UNITED STATES IS THERE HOME.
AS I WAS SAYING EARLIER,
MANY OF THE IMMIGRANTS HAVE BEEN HERE SO LONG,
THEY DON'T REALLY KNOW THEIR HOME COUNTRIES,
THEY CONSIDER THIS THEIR HOME.
AND I THINK OF ALL THE DESERVING IMMIGRANTS OUT THERE
REALLY THE DREAMERS, THE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS,
THE STUDENTS THAT HAVE SO MUCH TO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR COUNTRY
REALLY DESERVE LEGAL STATUS IN THIS COUNTRY.
UNFORTUNATELY, BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL SITUATION,
THIS BILL HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO PASS.
IT'S BEEN INTRODUCED FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS.
I THINK THAT'S A PERFECT SEGUE TO WHAT YOU MENTIONED EARLIER
ABOUT DOING NOTHING.
IT'S REALLY SOMETHING THAT WE CAN DO.
SO SPEAKING OF MAKING CHANGES,
YOU RECENTLY WERE INVOLVED WITH A LAWSUIT
AGAINST THE HUTTO FAMILY DETENTION CENTER.
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT HAPPENED THERE?
WHAT DID YOU SEE THERE THAT WAS SO ALARMING?
WELL, AS PART OF THE IMMIGRATION POLICY
THAT WE'VE SEEN OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS,
IT HAS BEEN FOCUSED ONLY ON ENFORCEMENT
THAT IS TO ARREST MORE PEOPLE, TO DEPORT MORE PEOPLE,
TO MAKE THE LIVES OF IMMIGRANTS MORE DIFFICULT,
AND WITHOUT ANY LEGALIZATION
OR ANY MEANS FOR THE IMMIGRANT POPULATION
TO LEGALIZE THEIR STATUS HERE.
SO THE T. DON HUTTO FACILITY,
WHICH WAS OPENED UP IN TAYLOR, TEXAS,
A FORMER MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON,
WAS PART OF AN ENFORCEMENT-ONLY STRATEGY.
AND WHAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DECIDED TO DO WAS TO INCARCERATE
PARENTS WHO WERE FOUND IN THE UNITED STATES,
EITHER COMING IN TO THE UNITED STATES
WITHOUT DOCUMENTS
OR WHO WERE FOUND ANY PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES
WITH THEIR CHILDREN, NOT UNITED STATES CITIZEN,
CHILDREN WHO WERE BORN ABROAD.
THEY WERE DETAINED, IMPRISONED, IN PRISON CONDITIONS
IN A FORMER MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON,
LIVING IN CELLS, DRESSED IN PRISON UNIFORM,
SUBJECTED TO ALL THE RULES THAT A PRISON WOULD HAVE.
CHILDREN WERE NOT ALLOWED TOYS.
THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY WRITING UTENSILS
IN THEIR CELLS.
THERE WAS NO MEDICAL CARE.
IT WAS HORRENDOUS.
WHAT KIND OF CHANGES HAVE HAPPENED SINCE THE LAWSUIT?
HOW HAS THAT DETENTION CENTER IMPROVED?
WELL, MY CLINIC AT THE LAW SCHOOL
WITH THE PRIVATE LAW FIRM
AND THE LOCAL AND NATIONAL AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
FILED A LAWSUIT CHALLENGING THE CONDITIONS AT HUTTO.
WE REACHED A SETTLEMENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT
WHICH VASTLY IMPROVED THE CONDITIONS,
BUT YOU CAN'T ALWAYS ACHIEVE
WHAT YOU WANT THROUGH LITIGATION.
WE HAD MANY, MANY STRATEGIES.
WE HAD A VERY VIBRANT ADVOCACY EFFORT BY THE COMMUNITY.
WE HAD NATIONAL ADVOCACY.
WE HAD-- WE CHALLENGED THESE CONDITIONS
UNDER INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STRATEGIES,
BUT WE DID SETTLE THE CASE.
WE HAD A TWO-YEAR SETTLEMENT THAT WAS ABOUT TO EXPIRE,
AND WE HAD ALREADY TAKEN THE POSITION
THAT WE WERE GOING TO LITIGATE AGAIN
AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE SETTLEMENT.
BUT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION MADE A DECISION
TO CLOSE THE FACILITY AND-- CLOSE THE FACILITY FOR CHILDREN.
CHILDREN ARE NO LONGER DETAINED AT HUTTO.
WOMEN ARE THERE, BUT FORTUNATELY,
CHILDREN ARE LONGER DETAINED GENERALLY IN THE UNITED STATES.
THERE'S ONE FACILITY IN PENNSYLVANIA
WHICH HAS 200 BEDS,
BUT THE FACILITY IN TEXAS NO LONGER OPERATES
TO HOUSE CHILDREN.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT ITSELF?
WELL, WHAT I'M MOST HAPPY ABOUT IS THAT THE FACILITY
IS CLOSED FOR CHILDREN.
IT WAS A DIFFICULT DECISION FOR ME AS A LAWYER.
I TEACH, SO I TRY TO TEACH MY STUDENTS
THAT LITIGATION IS NOT THE ONLY MECHANISM FOR ADVOCACY.
SO THE SETTLEMENT VASTLY IMPROVE THE LIVES OF THE CHILDREN THERE,
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, CHILDREN WERE STILL HOUSED
IN A FORMER MEDIUM SECURITY PRISON,
EVEN THOUGH, THE CONDITIONS WERE BETTER.
SO WHEN YOU SAY THAT'S NOT THE ONLY WAY TO ADVOCATE,
WHAT ARE OTHER WAYS OF MAKING CHANGES?
I THINK ORGANIZING POLITICALLY.
I THINK THE DREAMERS ARE A GOOD EXAMPLE.
THEY HAVE ORGANIZED, THEY HAVE LOBBIED,
THEY HAVE ORGANIZED PROTESTS, THEY HAVE HAD MARCHES,
USING INTERNATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
TO WRITE REPORTS, FOR EXAMPLE,
THE WOMEN'S COMMISSION ON REFUGEE CHILDREN,
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.
THE UNITED NATIONS WERE INVOLVED IN CRITICISM
OF HUTTO.
AND SO, I THINK REALLY IN TODAY'S CLIMATE,
YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CREATIVE,
AND THINK OF AS MANY DIFFERENT WAYS
AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN FOR ADVOCACY.
BUT I THINK ENGAGING IN OUR POLITICAL PROCESS
WITH ALL OF ITS LIMITATIONS AND DIVISIVENESS TODAY
IS REALLY IMPORTANT.
CORRECTIONS CORPORATIONS OF AMERICA
PRIVATELY OWNED HUTTO,
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES IN PRIVATELY
VERSUS PUBLIC FACILITIES,
AND HOW THEY'RE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?
SO THE CORRECTIONS CORPORATIONS OF AMERICA
IS ONE OF THE LARGEST FOR-PROFIT PRISON COMPANIES
IN THE UNITED SATES.
THERE HAS BEEN A BIG MOVE TO PRIVATIZE
BOTH IMMIGRATION DETENTION FACILITIES
AS WELL AS FEDERAL AND LOCAL PRISONS.
THE PROBLEM WITH A FOR-PROFIT OUTFIT
IS THAT THEIR MOTIVE IS TO MAKE MORE MONEY.
AND IN FACT IN THE HUTTO LITIGATION,
THE CORRECTIONS CORPORATIONS OF AMERICA
OBVIOUSLY WANTED TO MAXIMIZE ITS PROFITS,
AND SO THAT DOES NOT LEAD TO A GOOD SITUATION
FOR IMMIGRANTS WHO WERE DETAINED THERE.
IN ADDITION, THERE ARE LIMITATIONS IN LITIGATION
WHEN YOU'RE LITIGATING AGAINST A PRIVATE CORPORATION
AS OPPOSED TO A FEDERAL ENTITY.
AND IN THE HUTTO LITIGATION,
THERE WERE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE
FOR THE CONDITIONS.
WAS IT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
SAYING, "WELL IT'S NOT OUR FAULT,
IT'S REALLY BECAUSE WE'VE DELEGATED THIS
TO THE CORRECTIONS CORPORATIONS OF AMERICA".
AND SO, IT MAKES IT A MUCH LESS TRANSPARENT
SITUATION IN MY OPINION.
IT'S TRUE.
OKAY, SO IN CLOSING,
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE FOR US, THE AUDIENCE,
TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT IMMIGRATION?
WELL, I WOULD LIKE TO THINK
THAT WE ARE A COUNTRY OF IMMIGRANTS.
THAT IMMIGRANTS HAVE MADE GREAT CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR SOCIETY,
THAT ALL OF US, PERHAPS, OTHER THAN THE NATIVE AMERICANS,
AT ONE POINT, WERE IMMIGRANTS.
AND THAT REALLY-- IMMIGRATION--
WE NEED TO HAVE SOME KIND OF IMMIGRATION REFORM.
WE HAVE TO HAVE A WAY THAT HARDWORKING IMMIGRANTS
DO NOT HAVE TO RISK THEIR LIVES IN THE DESERT
COMING HERE TO WORK FOR JOBS THAT ARE AVAILABLE.
AND THAT WE NEED TO BE--
GO BACK TO OUR WELCOMING ROOTS AS A COUNTRY OF IMMIGRANTS.
THANK YOU, BARBARA, FOR BEING WITH US HERE TODAY
ON "ACCESS NEWS".
YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT BARBARA'S WORK
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS WEBSITE,
UTEXAS.EDU.
AND AT OUR WEBSITE ACCESSNEWS.US.
YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS,
SHARE YOUR COMMENTS AND OPINIONS.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK, FOLLOW US ON TWITTER.
ONE BEAUTIFUL THING ABOUT AMERICA IS THAT WE,
THE PEOPLE, HAVE POWER.
THE MORE WE KNOW, THE BETTER DECISIONS WE CAN MAKE.
FOR "ACCESS NEWS" I'M TAMARA AND THAT'S AUSTIN.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: DVORAH BEN MOSHE, KEN HURLEY.
WITH FUNDING FROM THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION
THROUGH THE KNIGHT COMMUNITY INFORMATION CHALLENGE.
SUPPORTED BY: THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION.
FOSTERING PHILANTHROPY IN AUSTIN FOR 35 YEARS,
THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR NOW AND FOREVER.
CREATED AND WRITTEN BY: DVORAH BEN-MOSHE, KEN HURLEY.
HOSTED BY: TAMARA SUITER-OCUTO.
INTERPRETER FOR TAMARA SUITER-OCUTO:
JENNIFER STOKER.
SEGMENT HOST FOR "A MORE PERFECT UNION:"
DON MILLER.
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