In the fantasy land that Brian Kemp occupies, undocumented people are not our friends, family and loved ones; they are not small business owners helping to revive rural communities; they aren’t even other humans who deserve compassion, justice and dignity.
In Brian Kemp and Donald Trump’s America, undocumented people are a useful scapegoat and the target of hateful policies to build walls, separate children from their parents and lock more people in cages.
Despite having a gubernatorial candidate antsy to keep beds filled in one of the nation’s largest and most active immigrant detention, Georgia also has a strong network of groups resisting immigrant detentions and the inhumane circumstances places like Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga. foster.
As Project South notes in a social media post about the lawsuit:
“Immigrants are forced to do chores for $1-$4 per day, which would usually be done by hired cooking, cleaning and maintenance companies that pay normal wages. They are also threatened with solitary confinement and denial of those necessities if they don’t work. Further, they must use that low pay to purchase basic necessities, like toiletries, from commissary. CoreCivic reaps a heavy profit, violating anti-trafficking laws.”
This lawsuit comes on the heels of previous work Project South and their partners have done documenting the inhumane conditions at Stewart — including lack of access to basic healthcare, denial of visits with family members and the excessive use of solitary confinement.
There have been at least three reported deaths at Stewart Detention Center in the past year, that have further raised questions about negligence and access to appropriate care at the facility.
Brian Kemp will likely continue to scapegoat immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers for his own political gains. But here in Georgia, groups like Project South, Georgia Detention Watch and El Refugio will continue to fight back against the egregious conditions people are kept in when they get caught up in the deportation system.