FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA (Feb. 26, 2020) — The following message is directed to all law enforcement officers and civilian employees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, and the owners and employees of Geo Group and LaSalle Corrections, from Citizen Ambassador Hunter Collins on behalf of the Venezuelan people and US taxpayers:
“I’m coming to y’all as a private American tax-paying citizen. I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a human rights activist. I’m not a politician. I’m not a preacher.
“I’m just a redneck from north Georgia, and I am speaking on behalf of the hundreds of Venezuelans that are being unjustly and unnecessarily locked up in ICE detention centers all across the United States of America, including in my state of Georgia.
“And I’m speaking also on behalf of their families all across the globe, and in Venezuela, and her in the United States — families that are desperately trying to get these people out of these detention centers. They spend everything they’ve got and more on a lawyer, and there are no results.
“And I’m angry this evening, and I’m really upset as an American taxpayer because ICE is wasting my money, my tax dollars, and my family’s tax dollars, and all my friends’ tax dollars — everybody listening to this that pays taxes — y’all are wasting my money contracting with private businesses such as Geo and LaSalle, OK?
“Correctional solutions businesses is what they call ’em. And counties in areas that maybe don’t have an economy or don’t have a nice tax base, they have to open a detention center to get some kind of revenue from the federal government, but they’re piling all of this on the backs of people who have committed no crime. OK?
“Now, I’m not talking about criminals, literal criminals that are locked up here, I’m talking about people who have committed no crimes in Venezuela and have committed no crimes in the United States. All they’ve done is come to a port of entry on the Mexico-United States border and ask for political asylum. Now, whether you agree with this or not, this is the law and they have a right to do that. It’s not a crime.
“And meanwhile, ICE is taking our tax dollars and paying, let’s use a number and call it $200** per head, per day, for every person that’s locked up. Now, if you had 800 or 1,000 people locked up, you could understand how that could be a pretty lucrative business for someone like LaSalle Correctional Solutions or Geo.
“And meanwhile, in these facilities we’re getting many, many reports, and I’m getting these reports personally from people in Venezuela that are in contact with their family members there, that the food is horrible. Sometimes it’s expired. There’s rats in the kitchen. There are worms in the food. And they’re not getting the medical attention they need — Catahula Center in Louisiana, we’re watching you specifically.
“I’m not gonna shut my redneck mouth until these people are out. It’s not right, and they don’t have a voice, but we’re gonna raise heavenly hell until they get out, and we’re watching you, we’ve got y’all, all the administrators of those private industries, Geo and LaSalle, I’ve got y’all on LinkedIn, and I’m not gonna shut my mouth.
“Do the right thing! ICE, do the right thing! Stop wasting my money!
“And I’m not anti-ICE, by the way, okay? When I see ICE agents on Buford Highway in Atlanta, I’m happy because I know that most of the time y’all are about to lock up a human trafficker or a drug trafficker and get him out of my city. But right now you’re doing the wrong thing for money. And remember, you work for me and you work for us.
“Do the right thing. Let these people out.”
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** Intelligence gathered by the Citizen Embassy’s network indicates that the true figure is closer to $500 per person/per day.
Featured image courtesy of ICE newsroom.