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Increasing immigration detention: sensible or senseless?

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The stark white walls, chairs, tables and ceilings were what first stuck out when Arizona State University researcher and professor Leah Sarat toured the privately owned immigration detention center in Eloy, Arizona. But as the tour continued and Sarat conducted interviews with immigrants, the white physicality didn’t seem so bad compared to the food and hygiene standards of the center — the third-largest immigration facility in the United States at 1,550 beds, with the highest number of deaths in the nation.  “I think it was called chicken fried steak on the menu when I was there, and it was this really thin meat patty,” Sarat said. “I can eat anything, but it was bad. It was a sawdusty kind of substance and you couldn’t tell what kind of meat it was.” Sarat also said women are sometimes given stained undergarments, and she isn’t...

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Sanctuary movement: perception or power?

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After 94 days in sanctuary, Francisco Perez Cordova left his Tucson office-turned-bedroom at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church. A year later in 2015, Rosa Robles left her sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson after 461 days. Cordova had been detained when his brother-in-law reported a crime, while Robles had been taken in for a minor traffic infraction. Both were undocumented, both had called the United States home for decades and both had children they were separated from while in sanctuary. “This is his home and for some reason we don’t want to recognize that,” said Rev. Jim Wiltbank, pastor at St. Francis in the Foothills. Sanctuary cases like these occur throughout the U.S. — and more could arise after President Trump’s executive order targeting undocumented residents. His executive order denies federal funding to sanctuary cities, or cities that choose not...

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