Since about 2016 North Jersey has seen a small yet assertive movement of activists calling on counties to end contracts with the federal government/ICE for the detention of undocumented immigrants before deportation. In Essex, Hudson, and Bergen Counties, young and old activists, political organizations and faith-based groups, and even New Yorkers with relatives stuck in Jersey detention centers, have come together to call for ending these county contracts with ICE. They’ve protested, written letters, gotten pledges from politicians, and even gotten arrested, all in hope of ending the contracts and having the detainees released. Seems pretty logical, especially in a pandemic that’s killing inmates and prison guards nationwide!
Unfortunately, all three county executives are desirous of the revenues (at least $110 per day) that each body in their prisons brings into county coffers! And they remain tightly loyal to the Democratic machines that get them elected, and which in turn are tightly connected with larger for-profit prison interests.
So when Hudson County’s Executive recently reneged on his promise to end the contract with ICE, frustrated protesters picketed peacefully outside his home. Rather than make another promise, he decided to end his façade of caring altogether – he got a restraining order against the protesters!
Democratic politicians claim to care about issues of “social justice,” and like to bash Republicans for being “against the little man.” But when they have a chance to do something to actually make things better for poor and working people, they just can’t bring themselves to do it. Another sign that both the Democrats and Republicans are no friend of “the little man.”