Today In Cheap Labor: Prison Edition

This is pretty sickening:

Using Jailed Migrants as a Pool of Cheap Labor


As the federal government cracks down on immigrants in the country illegally and forbids businesses to hire them, it is relying on tens of thousands of those immigrants each year to provide essential labor — usually for $1 a day or less — at the detention centers where they are held when caught by the authorities.

This work program is facing increasing resistance from detainees and criticism from immigrant advocates. In April, a lawsuit accused immigration authorities in Tacoma, Wash., of putting detainees in solitary confinement after they staged a work stoppage and hunger strike. In Houston, guards pressed other immigrants to cover shifts left vacant by detainees who refused to work in the kitchen, according to immigrants interviewed here.

The federal authorities say the program is voluntary, legal and a cost-saver for taxpayers. But immigrant advocates question whether it is truly voluntary or lawful, and argue that the government and the private prison companies that run many of the detention centers are bending the rules to convert a captive population into a self-contained labor force.

This hits the trifecta of immoral policies: our immigration policy, which splits up families; our privatized prison policy, which turns incarceration into a profit center; and our addiction to cheap labor, which continues to devalue the “human resource.” Funny how these three roads have met. This will not end well.


Filed under Cheap Labor, immigration, privatization

4 responses to “Today In Cheap Labor: Prison Edition

  1. I don’t hold out much hope for it happening, but it would be nice to see all of these assholes making license plates.

  2. Now that I think on it. If they’re PAYING them then the prison administrators are violating the law.

  3. Do you remember the piece about the judge in PA who was sending youthful offenders to the local Punish-for-profit prison?