Obama Orders Dance Classes, Movie Nights, and Bingo for Illegal Detainees

Chris Banescu
The Houston Chronicle reports that the Obama administration has ordered the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department to implement multiple modifications to their facilities to make life easier, more comfortable, and pleasant for the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants (approximately 400,000) it detains annually.  An internal ICE email highlights 28 different changes the organization will have to make to soften the look of its facilities, present a friendlier environment, offer better entertainment, organize fun activities, and provide illegal immigrant detainees with free access to email and phone services, as well as better dining and training classes.

According to ICE officials all of these changes are part of broader efforts supported by Obama "to make the immigration detention system less penal and more humane."  In reality, these changes are akin to "creating an all-inclusive resort for immigration detainees."

Some of the changes the White House is ordering include:

  • § dance classes
  • § movie nights
  • § art classes
  • § cooking classes
  • § tutoring and computer training
  • § free and unmonitored phone service
  • § free email access
  • § bingo
  • § arts and crafts
  • § more variety in dining options
  • § self-serve beverage stations
  • § fresh vegetable bars
  • § fresh carrot sticks
  • § hanging plants
  • § recreation in natural setting
  • § robust aerobic exercise

Also, ICE is expected to eliminate pat-down searches, lockdowns, and light-out for low-risk detainees, as well as provide vastly expanded visitation rights (up to 12 hours per visit) in its facilities.

The changes listed in the ICE e-mail are planned for nine different detention centers owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) across the country.  According to the Chronicle, some of the changes "will be implemented within 30 days; others may take up to six months"

Illegal immigrant advocates are thrilled at the required changes.  They have been advocating these transformations for years.  Lory Rosenberg, policy and advocacy director for Refugee and Migrants' Rights for Amnesty International was delighted with the promised improvements: "Many of these points are very important to changing the system from a penal system, which is inappropriate in an immigration context, to a civil detention system."

However, ICE union leaders are appalled at the cavalier attitude towards the illegal immigrants they oversee and warn of the inherent dangers of such misguided policies.  The officials are concerned the mandates will jeopardize the safety of their guards and agents, increase the potential for harm to other detainees, and cost the taxpayers more money in order to transform detention centers into an "all-inclusive resort" for immigration detainees.

"Our biggest concern is that someone is going to get hurt," he said, taking particular issue with plans to relax restrictions on the movement of low-risk detainees and efforts to reduce and eliminate pat-down searches.

ICE leadership also expressed concerns about safety issues inherent in lowering security standards for almost half million detainees, many of which are violent and have gang affiliations.  Tre Rebstock, president for Local 3332, the ICE union in Houston explains:

some detainees may be classified as low-risk because they have no serious criminal history but still may be gang members that "haven't been caught doing anything wrong yet."


He also said eliminating lockdowns will make it more difficult to protect detainees from one another.

He said reducing or eliminating pat-down searches could allow contraband into the facilities, including weapons.

These concerns are justified.  According to ICE's own report, as of September 9, 2009, 51% of the detained aliens were felons and 11% of the illegals had committed violent crimes.  The report confirms that most common crimes committed by criminal aliens are those involving dangerous drugs, traffic offenses, simple assault, and larceny.

None of this matters to the ivory-tower elitist Obama.  He condemned the people of Arizona for passing the SB1070 law that mirrors the US federal law on immigration calling it "misguided" and "irresponsible."  He has refused to listen to the American people, 73% of whom agree with Arizona and its stance on illegal immigration.  He stood beside Mexican president Felipe Calderon as he bashed Arizona and its people.  He then applauded Calderon's defamation of America, while Democrats in Congress cheered and shouted their approval.  He has refused to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.  He has continued to push for amnesty while a vast majority of the American people are against it. 

President Obama wants millions more voters who support his radical leftist ideals.  Pandering to illegal immigrants, blaming America, and continually playing the racist card is how he can get there.  This is the Democrat's best chance to overwhelm the American electorate and they're going for it.  Damn the American people, full amnesty ahead!

Chris Banescu is an attorney, entrepreneur, and university professor.  He regularly blogs at chrisbanescu.com.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the Obama administration has ordered the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department to implement multiple modifications to their facilities to make life easier, more comfortable, and pleasant for the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants (approximately 400,000) it detains annually.  An internal ICE email highlights 28 different changes the organization will have to make to soften the look of its facilities, present a friendlier environment, offer better entertainment, organize fun activities, and provide illegal immigrant detainees with free access to email and phone services, as well as better dining and training classes.

According to ICE officials all of these changes are part of broader efforts supported by Obama "to make the immigration detention system less penal and more humane."  In reality, these changes are akin to "creating an all-inclusive resort for immigration detainees."

Some of the changes the White House is ordering include:

  • § dance classes
  • § movie nights
  • § art classes
  • § cooking classes
  • § tutoring and computer training
  • § free and unmonitored phone service
  • § free email access
  • § bingo
  • § arts and crafts
  • § more variety in dining options
  • § self-serve beverage stations
  • § fresh vegetable bars
  • § fresh carrot sticks
  • § hanging plants
  • § recreation in natural setting
  • § robust aerobic exercise

Also, ICE is expected to eliminate pat-down searches, lockdowns, and light-out for low-risk detainees, as well as provide vastly expanded visitation rights (up to 12 hours per visit) in its facilities.

The changes listed in the ICE e-mail are planned for nine different detention centers owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) across the country.  According to the Chronicle, some of the changes "will be implemented within 30 days; others may take up to six months"

Illegal immigrant advocates are thrilled at the required changes.  They have been advocating these transformations for years.  Lory Rosenberg, policy and advocacy director for Refugee and Migrants' Rights for Amnesty International was delighted with the promised improvements: "Many of these points are very important to changing the system from a penal system, which is inappropriate in an immigration context, to a civil detention system."

However, ICE union leaders are appalled at the cavalier attitude towards the illegal immigrants they oversee and warn of the inherent dangers of such misguided policies.  The officials are concerned the mandates will jeopardize the safety of their guards and agents, increase the potential for harm to other detainees, and cost the taxpayers more money in order to transform detention centers into an "all-inclusive resort" for immigration detainees.

"Our biggest concern is that someone is going to get hurt," he said, taking particular issue with plans to relax restrictions on the movement of low-risk detainees and efforts to reduce and eliminate pat-down searches.

ICE leadership also expressed concerns about safety issues inherent in lowering security standards for almost half million detainees, many of which are violent and have gang affiliations.  Tre Rebstock, president for Local 3332, the ICE union in Houston explains:

some detainees may be classified as low-risk because they have no serious criminal history but still may be gang members that "haven't been caught doing anything wrong yet."


He also said eliminating lockdowns will make it more difficult to protect detainees from one another.

He said reducing or eliminating pat-down searches could allow contraband into the facilities, including weapons.

These concerns are justified.  According to ICE's own report, as of September 9, 2009, 51% of the detained aliens were felons and 11% of the illegals had committed violent crimes.  The report confirms that most common crimes committed by criminal aliens are those involving dangerous drugs, traffic offenses, simple assault, and larceny.

None of this matters to the ivory-tower elitist Obama.  He condemned the people of Arizona for passing the SB1070 law that mirrors the US federal law on immigration calling it "misguided" and "irresponsible."  He has refused to listen to the American people, 73% of whom agree with Arizona and its stance on illegal immigration.  He stood beside Mexican president Felipe Calderon as he bashed Arizona and its people.  He then applauded Calderon's defamation of America, while Democrats in Congress cheered and shouted their approval.  He has refused to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.  He has continued to push for amnesty while a vast majority of the American people are against it. 

President Obama wants millions more voters who support his radical leftist ideals.  Pandering to illegal immigrants, blaming America, and continually playing the racist card is how he can get there.  This is the Democrat's best chance to overwhelm the American electorate and they're going for it.  Damn the American people, full amnesty ahead!

Chris Banescu is an attorney, entrepreneur, and university professor.  He regularly blogs at chrisbanescu.com.