Trump/Pence: How many Violations of the Constitution?

By Christopher R Rice

A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution. -James Madison

Donald Trump stood in the shadow of the US Capitol and took an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

“I wouldn’t say he’s bumping into the Constitution, he’s crashing through it,” said Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who has joined litigation against the new president on a separate matter. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime.”

TheAtlantic: The election of Donald Trump was, in procedural terms, scrupulously fair. I hold no dark suspicions of altered vote counts or intimidation at the polls. We may wish the Voting Rights Act had not been gutted by the Court; but the election of 2016 followed the law of 2016. Clearly a large proportion of American citizens—not as many as voted for Hillary Clinton, but still, under our strange system, enough—wanted Trump as their president and now hope that he fulfills the loud promises he repeatedly made to the country.

Like an admissions officer at Trump University, he offered Americans a bag of magic beans and asked them in exchange to hand over their rights and their form of government.

The Constitution is broken, and I don’t know how, or whether, it will be fixed.

The minute Trump was sworn in, he violated Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, known as the emoluments clause.

1.) CNBC: President Donald Trump is being accused of violating a part of the U.S. Constitution that the founders put in place to curb corruption.

The attorneys general for the District of Columbia and Maryland filed a lawsuit making those claims on Monday. They accuse Trump of improperly accepting payments from foreign governments.

Their argument is that Trump — who kept ownership of his businesses when he became president of the United States — is violating the so-called emoluments clauses of the Constitution.

One of the clauses was written to ensure that U.S. government officials would not be corrupted by favors or gifts from foreign governments.

But the president retained actual ownership of the companies, meaning that he still makes money from them. Foreign governments — including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Georgia — have bought rooms or held events at Trump’s D.C. hotel since he took office. The Embassy of Kuwait even switched an earlier booking at the Four Seasons to the Trump hotel, according to the The Washington Post.

President Jimmy Carter gave his agricultural holdings to an independent trustee. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton put investments into blind trusts.

Representatives for Trump had argued that selling his sprawling business empire or putting it into a blind trust would have been too difficult.

In January, Trump promised to track profits from foreign governments and donate them to the U.S. Treasury. But the Trump Organization has not tracked those payments. Instead, it has suggested that it’s the responsibility of those foreign governments to report the transactions, NBC News reported last month.

The attorneys general contended that Trump’s presidency has created a situation in which states could feel compelled to make policy decisions that help his businesses.

The lawsuit is the second filed against Trump over emoluments, and it’s the first filed by government entities. Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the president earlier this year.

2.) President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka will receive more than a million dollars from the family business this year, according to McClatchy‘s D.C. bureau, raising fresh concerns about apparent conflicts of interest that seem rampant among key members of the Trump administration.

Ivanka Trump, as an unpaid senior adviser at the White House, has done “everything from lobbying the Senate on tax policy to representing her father at a G20 summit of world leaders”—but that’s not stopping her from taking money from businesses associated with the Trump Organization, “the sprawling family real estate empire now run by two of her brothers.” As McClatchy reports:

When her father was sworn in, Ivanka Trump resigned her numerous vice president positions with the Trump Organization but she planned to continue to receive money from its businesses, according to her financial disclosure report filed last year, which outlined her future relationship to the companies.

Each year starting in 2017, she was expected to receive a total of $1.5 million from three companies affiliated with the Trump Organization. She was expected to receive more money from additional Trump Organization businesses but the other amounts were not detailed.

The companies involve at least five projects that have come under scrutiny for possible ethics and legal violations.

Her “continued relationship with the businesses affiliated with the Trump Organization creates countless potential conflicts of interest prohibited by federal law and federal ethics standards as she works as a special assistant to the president,” McClatchy explained. “And just like her father, she is being accused of violating the so-called emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution that forbids government officials—not just presidents—from accepting gifts from foreign governments without the approval of Congress.”

A team of prominent constitutional scholars, Supreme Court litigators and former White House ethics lawyers intends to file a lawsuit alleging that President Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his hotels and other business operations to accept payments from foreign governments.

3.) The report comes as Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner—who is also a senior adviser to the president—faces increasing scrutiny over potential conflicts of interests with regard to his White House post and his continued involvement with his family’s real estate firm.

4.) USATODAY: Political interference in a law enforcement matter for personal and corrupt purposes — whether through pardons or personnel moves or directing the conduct of an investigation — is unconstitutional. That’s why it is so concerning that John Dowd, when he was one of President Trump’s lawyers, reportedly discussed the possibility of pardons for Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort with their lawyers.

By disregarding these norms, the president and the White House are also violating the Constitution. As we recently explained in a brief that we filed along with other former high-ranking Justice officials of both parties, the Constitution limits the president’s ability to interfere with individual law enforcement matters. And it will always be unconstitutional for the president to interfere with law enforcement based on personal or corrupted interests — for example, to stop an investigation of him or his associates.

VanityFair: Trump: “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself,” he wrote on Twitter.

Trump’s use of his power to grant clemency to date has already been controversial. After pardoning Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio last year, Trump granted another questionable pardon to conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza last week, while also floating the possibility that he might also offer clemency to lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart and commute the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Some interpreted the pardon for D’Souza and the president’s remarks about Stewart and Blagojevich as a signal to individuals ensnared in the Mueller probe that their loyalty to him would be rewarded. “What I think he is doing though, is undermining public corruption investigations by basically saying that if you are a corrupt public official you are going to get a pass from me,” Robert Grant, a top former F.B.I. agent who headed the F.B.I.’s Chicago office during the Blagojevich investigation, told me last week. “He is signaling to people who might be witnesses against him, his family or his business interests, ‘hold the line, don’t give up anything, don’t roll over for the prosecutors because even if you get prosecuted, I am going to give you a free pass.’”

5.) ConstitutionCenter: President Trump has issued several immigration orders, ranging from those regulating immigration into the United States as well as those regulating immigrants already present in the country. Legal challenges have cropped up nationwide against these orders.

Slate: The Trump administration poses a unique threat to the rule of law.

Habeas Corpus. Lawyers at airports have been filing habeas corpus petitions around the clock for people being detained. In recent years, the Supreme Court strengthened the protections of habeas corpus for noncitizens repeatedly in rulings in cases brought by Guantánamo detainees. Less known were earlier rulings strengthening protections for noncitizens in detention facing removal, such as Zadvydas v. Davis. The national security or “plenary” power over immigration did not faze the justices in such rulings.

As law professors who teach constitutional law and immigration law, we fully recognize that executive power over immigration has long been described by courts as broad, even “plenary,” and sometimes able to, well, trump the rights of noncitizens. Yet that power is also committed to Congress, which passed no law authorizing this order. And noncitizens still have constitutional rights, sometimes quite strong ones.

6.) Family Reunification Rights.* The tragic stories of separated families bring out yet another constitutional right at stake that few have commented on: The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the importance of the fundamental right to family relationships. Family reunification is also of primary importance in immigration law.

7.) The Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges emphasized how multiple constitutional rights magnified the harm of denying same-sex couples the right to marry. “The Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause are connected in a profound way,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority. The constitutional violations in that case were made worse because there was discrimination—over something as important as the fundamental right to marry. Today, these constitutional violations are worse because the order discriminates on the basis of religion, nationality, and ethnicity, over rights as important as due process, the right to family relationships, and the right not to be excluded unlawfully. The equal protection, due process, First Amendment, habeas, and fundamental rights violations that we describe are important standing along but even more devastating to the legality of the order when seen in tandem. As we have written in a 2015 article, constitutional rights magnify their power when they share reinforcing interests.*

8.) TheAmericanConservative: The U.S. and its allies have committed a flagrant violation of international law, and Trump has trampled on the Constitution once again.

NationalReview: Unfortunately, the section of the Constitution that gives the power to declare war to Congress, and Congress alone, has become a section of the Constitution that most of our politicians — and our pundits — ignore. Debates on the issue these days are usually between only two sides — “He should” vs. “He shouldn’t” — while the important question of “Can he?” goes completely ignored. It often feels as though Article I, Section 8 has been all but forgotten, which is why I was so glad to see the recent comments from Senator Bernie Sanders.

CIA Destroys Interrogation Tapes, NSA Uses Porn to “Break Down Detainees”

By ACLU

From jailing children together with adults in prisons where they were raped to failing to notify their parents of their arrest, the U.S. committed numerous war crimes against children in Afghanistan and Iraq, a new book on President Bush states.

~snip~  “American guards videotaped Iraqi male prisoners raping young boys but took no action to stop the offenses (and) children in Abu Ghraib were deliberately frightened by dogs,” writes political scientist Michael Haas in his new book, “George W. Bush, War Criminal?”(Praeger), a question he answers in the affirmative.

According to a letter filed by the government in court, the CIA acknowledged it destroyed 92 tapes of interrogations. The admission comes in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking records of the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. In December 2007, the ACLU filed a motion to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of prisoners in violation of a court order requiring the agency to produce or identify all the requested records.

The following can be attributed to Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU:

“This letter provides further evidence for holding the CIA in contempt of court. The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systemic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and to evade the court’s order. Our contempt motion has been pending in court for over a year now – it is time to hold the CIA accountable for its flagrant disregard for the rule of law.”

The tapes, which show CIA operatives subjecting suspects to extremely harsh interrogation methods, should have been identified and processed for the ACLU in response to its FOIA request demanding information on the treatment and interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody. The tapes were also withheld from the 9/11 Commission, appointed by former President Bush and Congress, which had formally requested that the CIA hand over transcripts and recordings documenting the interrogation of CIA prisoners.

A copy of the government’s letter is available at:  ACLU

The ACLU’s contempt motion and related legal documents are available online at: www.aclu.org/torturefoia

‘She was up to her eyeballs in torture’: Trump’s nominee for CIA director oversaw the torture of detainees under Bush By , BusinessInsider

President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency helped implement the agency’s torture program under the George W. Bush administration, a record that will make her confirmation process difficult and likely ugly.

Gina Haspel, who joined the CIA in 1985 and spent most of her career undercover, oversaw the waterboarding and use of other “enhanced interrogation techniques” — authorized by the Bush administration and later outlawed by President Barack Obama and Congress — at a secret CIA prison in Thailand in 2002.

Haspel was nominated to become the agency’s first female director after Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and asked CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.

At the Thai prison, known as a “black site,” that Haspel ran, two terror suspects were extensively tortured. One detainee, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded 83 times in one month and subjected to other dangerous treatment, including having his head slammed against a wall repeatedly.

Interrogators ultimately determined that Zubaydah, who lost an eye during his CIA detention, did not possess any useful information.

In 2005, Haspel signed a cable ordering the destruction of 92 video tapes of Zubaydah’s interrogations — a decision that became the subject of a lengthy criminal investigation by the Justice Department that did not result in charges. Haspel also helped facilitate the “extraordinary rendition program,” in which the US government handed detainees over to foreign officials, who detained and tortured them in secret prisons.

Hundreds of terror suspects were tortured and abused by the CIA and Department of Defense in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And while the Bush administration’s program, which violated longstanding US and international law, has been widely condemned both domestically and around the world, no government official has ever been prosecuted for their involvement in it.

Current CIA director Mike Pompeo has said that waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” do not constitute torture. And he has defended intelligence officials and others who engaged in these practices as “heroes” and “patriots” simply protecting their country.

Trump repeatedly expressed his support for torture, including waterboarding, on the campaign trail.

“Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would. In a heartbeat,” Trump said during a 2016 campaign rally. “I would approve more than that. It works.”

The ACLU, which has engaged in extensive litigation concerning the government’s torture program, is pushing the CIA to declassify and release “every aspect of Haspel’s torture record” before she is put through the nomination process.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who led the agency under Obama, praised Haspel as someone with “a lot of integrity,” despite her record, during a Tuesday interview on MSNBC.

What do you suppose was on those tapes? The International Criminal Court prosecutor asked for authorization to investigate reported human rights abuses in Afghanistan, including allegations of rape and torture by U.S. military and the CIA, crimes against humanity by the Taliban and war crimes by Afghan security forces. Source: NBC

Controversial nominee Gina Haspel confirmed as first female CIA director 

Gina Haspel was confirmed Thursday to be the first female director of the CIA with the help of votes from a half-dozen Senate Democrats.

Haspel was confirmed in a 54-45 vote, the culmination of a roller-coaster nomination that appeared to be in danger at several points after she was abruptly selected by President Donald Trump in March.

Three Republicans opposed Haspel’s nomination: Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake of Arizona and John McCain of Arizona, although McCain did not vote because he’s battling brain cancer at home.

But Haspel secured enough votes to win confirmation with the backing of six Democrats, including Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Continue reading: CNN

NSA Used Porn to “Break Down Detainees” in Iraq — and Other Revelations From 297 Snowden Documents By , , TheIntercept

He was an NSA staffer but also a volunteer, having signed up to provide technical expertise for a wide-ranging, joint CIA mission in Iraq. He did not know what he was getting himself into.

After arriving in Baghdad “grungy and tired,” the staffer would later write, he discovered that the CIA and its partner, the Defense Intelligence Agency, had moved beyond talking to locals and were now intent on looking through their computer files. Marines would bring the NSA man “laptops, hard drives, CDs, phones and radios.” Sometimes the devices were covered in blood — and quite often they contained pornography, deemed “extremely useful” in humiliating and “breaking down” for interrogation the people who owned them.

The story of how the National Security Agency harvested porn for use against prisoners in Iraq is just one of the revelations disclosed in the agency’s internal newsletter SIDtoday during the second half of 2005.

There’s also the tale of how some intercepts would be rushed almost instantly to the president at Camp David via golf cart “with virtually no oversight.”

Then there’s one about how the NSA declared it could find “not many” Arabic translators it could trust among “the largest Arabic-speaking population in the United States.”

Or the story of how the agency listened as the Egyptian government dictated through its communication channels the final results for an election that had barely begun.

Told in more detail below, these are highlights from some 297 SIDtoday articles published today by The Intercept as part of an ongoing project to release, after careful review, material provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

From the same SIDtoday release — our sixth thus far — we are publishing three other articles. One is an investigation into a secretive global intelligence-sharing alliance led by the NSA, comprising 18 members and known as the SIGINT Seniors. Another looks at increased surveillance in the United Kingdom following the London bombings in 2005 — and discloses for the first time a secret agreement to share metadata harvested from the vast data repositories of the NSA and its counterparts in the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Also today, in collaboration with the Norwegian Broadcaster NRK, we shine light on a large spy base located outside Oslo. The base was built with the NSA’s help to aid Norway’s military and counterterrorism operations overseas. But it has also swept up Norwegian citizens’ phone and email records – and is now at the center of a dispute over illegal surveillance.

The NSA declined to comment for this article.

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U.S. Military nudes exposed (NSFW)

CIA director Mike Pompeo was “blindsided” by an executive order that opens the door for American intelligence agencies to resume waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” at newly reopened CIA “black site” prisons overseas, according to a source familiar with conversations he has had about the document.

Trump told ABC News anchor David Muir: “We’re not playing on an even field. When they’re chopping off the heads of our people, and other people — when they’re chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East — when ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? As far as I’m concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.”

Trumps executive order does not seem to be limited to ‘foreign’ detainees but “anyone, anywhere that the President deems to be a threat to the safety and security of the United States.”

ANTI-TORTURE LINKS:

Anti-Torture Initiative with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

irct International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

UN Committee Against Torture

Abolish Torture Muslims Against Torture And Political Imprisonment Everywhere

Witness Against Torture formed in 2005 when 25 Americans went to Guantánamo Bay and attempted to visit the detention facility. Once we returned from that journey, we began to organize more broadly to shut down Guantánamo, working with interfaith, human rights and activists’ organizations.

Stop Torture The Harvard Anti-Torture Coalition

Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups.

TASSC (Torture Abolition & Survivors Support Coalition) is a coalition of torture survivors, representing countries and ethnic groups throughout all parts of the world.

APT  The Association for the Prevention of Torture was founded in 1977 by the Swiss banker and lawyer Jean-Jacques Gautier. Our work is built on the insight that torture and forms of ill-treatment happens behind closed doors, out of public view. We therefore promote transparency in all places where people are deprived of liberty.

Amnesty International is a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights.

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Saudi Arabia Bankrolled 9/11

False Flag: How the U.S. Armed Syrian Rebels to Set Up an Excuse to Attack Assad

The Red Line and the Rat Line

How Turkey Exports ISIS Oil To The World: The Scientific Evidence

ICE put detained immigrants in solitary confinement for hunger striking

By

The solitary confinement cases outlined in the records obtained by The Verge took place at the Stewart Detention Center, a facility managed by CoreCivic outside Lumpkin, Georgia. The Lumpkin facility has been the subject of past allegations of inhumane treatment of immigrant detainees, who can be kept behind bars for years awaiting resolution of their deportation cases.

In April, it was reported that two detainees at Lumpkin had gone on hunger strike to protest their prolonged detention. The detainment logs obtained by The Verge do not specifically address the April incidents but show that, shortly thereafter, detainees at the facility launched a previously unreported series of hunger strikes that spanned months.

ICE has been previously accused of using solitary confinement to retaliate against hunger-striking detainees at other facilities. In comments to The Verge, ICE sent its detention standards stating that hunger-striking detainees should be put in isolation when “medically advisable.” In at least a half-dozen cases, detainees were placed in solitary confinement immediately after having declared hunger strike, although they hadn’t yet had an opportunity to miss a single meal. In most logs, detainees relented and began eating again after less than a week locked in solitary confinement — a form of captivity that human rights groups say can amount to psychological torture.

“These documents confirm what we’ve been hearing in terms of immediate and really brutal crackdowns by using solitary as a means of deterring the hunger strikes and almost as a punishment,” Azadeh Shahshahani, an attorney with the Atlanta-based social justice group Project South, said of the Lumpkin facility. Shahshahani says that the facility responded to detainee demonstrations in 2014 and 2015 by using what she views as excessive force, including placing detainees in solitary confinement.

The logs obtained by the Verge, which span the entirety of 2016, detail a variety of reasons relating to the hunger strike for placing detainees in solitary confinement. In late December, CoreCivic locked a group of detainees in solitary confinement for terms of 60 days because surveillance footage allegedly showed them “being involved in initiating a group demonstration, encouraging others to go on a hunger strike and refusing to lock down for count,” according to the logs. One detainee went on hunger strike after CoreCivic locked him in isolation while it investigated allegations that he was “charging detainees for haircuts as he is a barber.”

The logs indicate that CoreCivic may have attempted to cultivate detainee informants to help gather information about the hunger strike. The entries state that detainees were placed in solitary confinement as a protective measure after other detainees had identified them as serving as “snitches” for CoreCivic personnel seeking to gather information on the demonstrations.

“This incident involved the above listed detainee believing to have been a snitch in the hunger strike incident which occurred in unit 6,” one log reads. “The unit team received a message that Detainee […] would be physically assaulted due his alleged cooperation with the unit staff.”

In comments to The Verge, CoreCivic spokesperson Steve Owen said that detainees had not been punished for hunger striking. No “detainees at the Stewart facility have been placed in restrictive housing in retaliation for hunger strikes,” Owen said in an email. “Providing a safe, humane and appropriate environment for those entrusted to our care is our top priority, and we work in close coordination with our partners at ICE to ensure the wellbeing of the detainees at the Stewart Detention Center.”

Daniel B. Vasquez, a former warden of San Quentin State Prison, where he oversaw a large bloc containing more than a thousand solitary confinement cells, told The Verge that it is necessary to isolate hunger strikers from the general population. “If a person has declared a hunger strike, you have to isolate them in administrative segregation and monitor them on a medical basis,” Vasquez said. He added that it is also possible to punish such detainees by issuing an order to eat that detainees continuing to strike would defy. “So then I issue you a violation report for refusing orders.”

The logs make clear that, in some cases, ICE had ordered CoreCivic to place detainees in solitary confinement for hunger striking. Several of the ICE logs state that ICE officials within the agency’s Health Services Corps had ordered striking detainees to be kept in segregated housing for medical monitoring, although most of the logs do not specify ICE’s specific involvement.

Citing medical privacy laws, ICE declined to comment on any cases of hunger strikers being placed in solitary confinement at Lumpkin. Pointing to various offices that provide oversight of the use of solitary confinement for ICE detainees, an agency spokesperson said that “ICE provides several levels of oversight in order to ensure that detainees in ICE custody reside in safe, secure and humane environments and under appropriate conditions of confinement.”

CoreCivic’s Owen also challenged The Verge’s use of language. “It’s also important to note that restrictive housing is not ‘solitary confinement,” Owen said. “We do not have the latter at our facilities.”

CoreCivic emphasized that detainees locked in Stewart’s “restrictive housing” units have the same access to visitation, telephone time, law library, mail, and barber shop as general-population detainees, and are given one hour of recreation time per day. The detainees “continue to have daily interaction facility staff, including medical professionals, chaplains, and ICE officials,” Owen said of CoreCivic’s restrictive housing.

Vasquez agrees, calling the term imprecise and “a word that doesn’t really exist any longer.”

Craig Haney, an expert on solitary confinement at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said that CoreCivc’s description of its restrictive housing at Stewart seemed to be simply a description of conditions generally referred to as “solitary confinement.” “The fact that they get things like haircuts and mail, and must have routine contact with staff,” Haney said, “does not change the nature of the experience.”

Solitary confinement has been repeatedly found to exact a lasting psychological toll. It is common for prisoners who are locked in solitary confinement in the United States to be kept in their cells 23 hours a day and given one hour of recreation per day. At Lumpkin, CoreCivic limited opportunities to go outdoors for some of the hunger-striking detainees. “As a precaution,” several logs stated, “outdoor recreation will be suspended for the duration of their strike.”

ICE has previously been accused of using solitary confinement to punish detainees who hunger strike. In Washington state, after ICE reportedly locked some 20 detainees in solitary confinement during a hunger strike, the state’s branch of the American Civil Liberties Union sued, alleging that the state had infringed on the prisoner’s First Amendment rights. A judge ordered ICE to release the detainees.

Located more than a two-hour drive from Atlanta — home to the closest regional ICE Enforcement and Removal Office and many of the state’s attorneys that would represent immigrants — the Lumpkin facility, has been deemed a “black hole” of the US immigration system where unrepresented detainees can languish for years in harsh conditions. A report published last year by the American Immigration Council stated that only 6 percent of detained immigrants at Lumpkin had representation from an attorney.

Shahshahani, who has been involved with efforts to close the Lumpkin facility for years, says that the facility also saw hunger strikes in both 2014 and 2015. At issue, she says, where both facility conditions — documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center and others — and long periods of detention even for detainees who said they would rather be deported than stay in the facility.

Noting that it can take an entire day for a lawyer or advocate to travel from Atlanta to the Lumpkin detention center for a meeting, Shahshahani says that the facility’s remote location compounds detainees’ feeling of helplessness.

“It goes back to this same issue of isolation at the facility,” said Shahshahani. “Immigrants at the facility feel that they don’t have anyone representing them.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions– the more people he sends to jail, the more money he makes. Prison Inc.: Immigration busts a boon for America’s biggest private lockup By Aimee Picchi CBS

When it comes to companies that are set to profit from President Donald Trump’s policies, here’s a clear winner: private prison operator CoreCivic (CXW).

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company has experienced almost a complete turnabout since Mr. Trump emerged victorious in the November election. Before voters cast their ballots, CoreCivic was having a rough year. Its stock had plunged by almost 50 percent from January 1, 2016 through Election Day. In August, the Justice Department said it would stop using private prisons, representing a hit to CoreCivic’s operations.

Yet just a few months later, CoreCivic’s fortunes have reversed, thanks largely to the election of President Trump and his directives to crack down on illegal immigrants. Since Mr. Trump’s victory, its shares have more than doubled, far outpacing the 9 percent gain in the S&P 500. Analysts now expect the company to have a strong 2017, with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Tobey Sommer describing it among one of his best investment picks for the year.

“It’s gone from a risk of seeing business go away to a chance for the company to grow,” Sommer said. “Because they have a lot of idle beds, they have an opportunity to sign new contracts and generate new profits.”

CoreCivic may not be a familiar name, which in part may be due to its rebranding push in October. Previously known as Corrections Corporation of America, it changed its name to CoreCivic to reflect its shift from a corrections-focused company to providing a “wider range of government solutions,” CEO Damon Hininger said in a statement.

For instance, CoreCivic is investing in reentry programs, which help former inmates transition out of prisons and into the workforce, as well as in real estate.

CoreCivic declined an interview but in a statement said it offers services “to governments led by elected officials from across the political and ideological spectrum.”

Yet key to its near-term turnabout is President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants. Mr. Trump has ordered the hiring of thousands of additional border patrol agents and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workers as part of his vow to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants.

In a February 9 call with analysts to discuss CoreCivic’s latest earnings, Hininger credited the company’s fourth-quarter growth largely to what he called ICE’s “heightened utilization” of its services in Southwestern states. He also specifically cited Mr. Trump’s immigration policy, saying it will drive demand for the company’s detention facilities.

Carl Takei, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project, said while investors stand to profit, they shouldn’t lose sight of what he calls the moral issues wrapped up with the private prison industry.

A September ACLU report alleged that privately operated detention facilities “have a particularly grisly track record” because they have incentives to cut costs and boost shareholder return, such as by reducing medical staffing. The report cited alleged cases of violence, suicide and sexual assault.

Some students at universities such as Princeton are pushing their colleges to divest from private prison companies, which could make the industry the latest to be targeted by the student divestment movement. In recent years, college students have pushed their campus administrators to rethink investments in stocks that they perceive as contributing to environmental or social harm, such as oil and tobacco companies.

“The contracts make it clear that this is about commodifying human beings,” the ACLU’s Takei said. “The government specifies they will deliver a certain number of units to the private prisons. The units in this context are human beings.”

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In June of 2006, a bipartisan national task force, the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, released its recommendations after a yearlong investigation. It called for ending long-term isolation of prisoners. Beyond about ten days, the report noted, practically no benefits can be found and the harm is clear—not just for inmates but for the public as well. Most prisoners in long-term isolation are returned to society, after all. And evidence from a number of studies has shown that supermax conditions—in which prisoners have virtually no social interactions and are given no programmatic support—make it highly likely that they will commit more crimes when they are released. Instead, the report said, we should follow the preventive approaches used in European countries.

The recommendations went nowhere, of course. Whatever the evidence in its favor, people simply did not believe in the treatment.

The simple truth is that public sentiment in America is the reason that solitary confinement has exploded in this country, even as other Western nations have taken steps to reduce it. This is the dark side of American exceptionalism. With little concern or demurral, we have consigned tens of thousands of our own citizens to conditions that horrified our highest court a century ago. Our willingness to discard these standards for American prisoners made it easy to discard the Geneva Conventions prohibiting similar treatment of foreign prisoners of war, to the detriment of America’s moral stature in the world. In much the same way that a previous generation of Americans countenanced legalized segregation, ours has countenanced legalized torture. And there is no clearer manifestation of this than our routine use of solitary confinement—on our own people, in our own communities, in a supermax prison, for example, that is a thirty-minute drive from my door.