Editorial: Compañeras Resistiendo/Resisting

Compañeras Resistiendo/Resisting
CCWP Fire Inside Collective


Five years ago, we dedicated FI #30 to immigrants in
prison and detention centers, honoring their ability to survive,
maintain relationships with family, and their native
language and culture in the face of racism and discrimination
of the PIC. In 2005,
CCWP was just starting
our Compañeras Project to
support immigrant women
prisoners and make their
voices heard in the struggle
for human rights.

Here we are in 2010,
once again dedicating FI to
issues affecting immigrant
prisoners. There is a new
wave of anti-immigrant
laws, including SB 1070
in Arizona [see box on p.2] and a legal opinion issued by
Virginia?s State Attorney General that allows law enforcement
to check immigration status of anyone they stop for
any reason. Immigrants face constant threats of human
rights abuse, incarceration and deportation. Once caught up
in the PIC this abuse continues.

In the face of these new laws and the continued criminalization
of immigrants throughout the US, communities
are organizing and resisting. Resistance to SB 1070 (as of
August 2010 the law is only partially in effect and is being
fought in the courts) and other attacks on immigrants is
growing. Protests against SB 1070 painted a powerful
picture of immigrant communities and the richness of
their resistance.

CCWP?s Compañeras Project has continued to grow
and provide group support, affi rming the humanity of immigrant
prisoners. With regular visits from the outside, we
come together, connect with each other and build community.
In 2010, the Compañeras Project helped Latinas Unidas,
a group at VSPW, publish a bilingual booklet, Realidad
de Inmigrantes en Prision
.

We have also heard about a newly proposed ?private?
women?s prison in California to
be run by GEO Group, who has
been in the business of building
and running state prisons
and ICE (U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement) Detention
Centers since 1988. GEO
has been accused of gross civil
rights violations at its Northwest
Detention Center in Tacoma,
Washington (including unlawful
interrogations and coercing
inmates to sign paperwork), and
at prisons in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Texas.

Perhaps as frightening as the outrageous human rights
violations in privatized prisons is the role these corporations
play-GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of
America (CCA is the largest US private prison corporation)?
in writing and supporting the passage of SB 1070
and other bills affecting immigration and labor. These bills
are intended to ensure that GEO & CCA will profi t. These
same groups were involved in the passage of 3 strikes
laws in the ?90s. The web connecting GEO, CCA and
others to the PIC, lawmakers, and human rights abuses is
complicated and disgusting.

Perhaps as frightening as the outrageous human rights
violations in privatized prisons is the role these corporations
play-GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of
America (CCA is the largest US private prison corporation)?
in writing and supporting the passage of SB 1070
and other bills affecting immigration and labor. These bills
are intended to ensure that GEO & CCA will profi t. These
same groups were involved in the passage of 3 strikes
laws in the ?90s. The web connecting GEO, CCA and
others to the PIC, lawmakers, and human rights abuses is
complicated and disgusting.