Making Money Off of Brown Bodies

Really, the extent to which I do not know things sometimes stuns me.  So, I’m mulling over this whole Windlands Center situation, where you’ve got a nursing home keeps its residents’ security deposits if they don’t give 30 days notice before they vacate their beds, even if by “vacate their beds” you mean “die.”  That’s $900 for every surprise death.  Makes you wonder what impetus the Windlands Center has to give their residents the best care they can, then, doesn’t it?

And then I read this over at The Nashvillest:

Davidson County and Tennessee are at risk of losing about $600,000 annually if President Obama decides to stop reimbursing state and local prisons for housing criminals who are also undocumented immigrants. A cut like this could put a pretty big dent in 287(g) local immigration enforcement programs like the one here in Davidson.

And I follow their link to the Tennessean article, where I read:

As part of the upcoming year’s budget, President Barack Obama has proposed cutting the State Criminal Alien Assistance program, which spends $400 million annually to cover the costs state and local facilities incur in keeping in jail illegal immigrants who are also criminal offenders. In Tennessee, the state Department of Correction got more than $350,000 from the program. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office received $274,000.

And then I read:

The funding is unrelated from sheriff’s participation in the federal 287g program. The Sheriff’s Office has staff trained as deputies of Immigration and Customs Enforcement that question foreign-born inmates to determine whether they’re in the country legally. If they aren’t, they’re placed under a hold and turned over to federal custody to face deportation when they’ve finished serving their local sentence.Through that program, the sheriff is reimbursed for staff and the cost of holding inmates as federal detainees until they’re picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  [emphasis mine]

I repeat.  The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office gets a quarter of a million dollars from the federal government for keeping illegal immigrants in jail.  This is in addition to whatever money they get from the sheriff’s participation in 287(g).  (I called over to TIRRC to find out how much money the Sheriff gets from the Feds for people held under 287(g) and they’re going to email me with the number.  I’ll update this post when I have it.)

If I can be cynical just a moment, this has got to be the best deal ever for the Nashville police.  Most people who are here illegally are otherwise just like you and me in terms of the crimes they commit.  They run a red light.  They speed.  They smoke a little dope.  They get in fist fights at bars.  In other words, they behave just like 90% of other Tennesseans.  So, if you’re a police officer and you see two cars run a red light and one looks like it might be full of six-foot bikers on meth and you can see for sure that that’s a shot gun in the back window and the other car is full of five brown guys coming home from work, IT BEHOOVES YOU TO PULL OVER THE GUYS JUST GETTING OFF WORK.  It is the option that makes the most sense.  You are not going to get into a confrontation with cranked out armed bikers.  You’re going to get five tired guys who’ve been working hard all day.  And, if you arrest them, the department gets paid for them.

You stay safe.  You stay busy.  And you bring in money for the department.  Of course, one wonders if this is the best deal ever for Nashville.  After all, that car full of cranked out armed bikers was heading somewhere.  But possibly best we don’t think about that too hard.

Instead, let’s return to the fact that we, as a city, bring in income by… um… how exactly to put this?  By putting a monetary value on certain members of our community and then getting paid their value by the Feds, and, with the 287(g) program, in exchange for their bodies.

I don’t know how else to understand what I have learned here today: Davidson County sells illegal immigrants to the United States Government.  The United States Government pays us for those people.  We sell them.  They buy them.


15 thoughts on “Making Money Off of Brown Bodies

  1. And then of course Davidson County takes that money from the Feds and invests it wisely and makes even more income off selling people…. Nobody is actually making money here. They just get money back to pay for expenses. Unless you want to assume the brown guys get one less meal so Metro can keep the cash.

    Your parable is pretty insulting to police. Should we suppose they’re all lazy and not interested in doing their jobs? If the hypothetical officer is the kind of person you assume he is, then he’s more likely to not pull anyone over. That’s even easier. And you don’t put anyone in jail so you end up in exactly the same place you would have been if you’d paid to jail the brown guys and had the Feds pay you back.

    Besides, the hypothetical officer knows he’s rolling the dice if he goes with the brown guys. They may be here legally then he’s got nada, and he has to respond to whatever crime the methed out bikers commit.

    Do you think your situation would play out any differently without the federal money? “You stay safe, you stay busy.” Our hypothetical police officer is going to stay safe regardless of the money.

    I don’t see how any of this equates to selling brown bodies.

  2. I don’t see what you’re saying.

    Does the government not pay the Sheriff to house those people? And for the staff time required for them?

    If I tell the tax payers of Davidson County that I need $1,000 to house 100 people in the coming year, if, at the end of that year, the Feds give me $250, I don’t refund that money to the tax payers, do I? I’m not going to go to the tax payers of Davidson county and say “Um, yeah, so it turns out I only need $750 to house 100 people” because I can’t know that I will have 250 illegal immigrants to house (right?). I might end up with 1,000 U.S. citizens that misbehave next year.

    Someone’s benefiting from that.

  3. Debate through wild what-ifs?

    Ok, I’ll play. Officer Dreamland sees a group of Brown people go through a red light. He pulls them over, finds out the driver has no license or id. He searches the vehicle and finds an underage rape victim in the trunk. Thank Jeebus for the 287(g) program.

    By your goofy “illegals live their days just like us” argument, you could apply that to every crime and criminal.
    “Gee whiz, that Dalmer guy showed up to work every day, and he was so polite.”

  4. Officer Dreamland sees a group of Brown people go through a red light. He pulls them over, finds out the driver has no license or id. He searches the vehicle and finds an underage rape victim in the trunk.

    First of all, the officer would have no right to search the vehicle in this case.

    Second of all, WTF? THAT is your argument? Police officers should specifically target hispanic people on the off chance they are storing under-aged rape victims in their trunks? Huh?

  5. Well, if we want to get all legalistic, dolphin, if Officer Dreamland stops the Brown people and none of them can produce a license or other form of id, Officer Dreamy, I assume, would arrest them all as suspect illegals to collect the federal bounty, since that was, under B’s analogy, the pretext for the stop in the first instance. In that case, the car would need to be impounded and the coppers can open your trunk to perform an “inventory search” in which case they would very likely discover the underage rape victim Exador posited would be there for purpose of his analogy. So there’s that.

    Also, when does the fed ever fund anything fully or pay anything on time? I really doubt that this program is really a money maker for any of your local taxing bodies.



  6. From what I read, the state is being re-imbursed for in essence housing what should be a federal inmate. Now if the funding is removed, the state should simply send the inmates to the federal prison system.

  7. First of all, the officer would have no right to search the vehicle in this case.

    Ha! That’s funny. You haven’t had much of a history with law enforcement, have you?

  8. Anonymous, I admit I’m not familiar with TN laws on the matter. Most states ticket the drivers who leave their license at home so long as the car is registered to a licensed driver.

    Ex, I’m fairly happy to say that I haven’t had many run-ins with the law (one blatant speed trap is about the extent of it), but I still am quite aware that if a cop searches your vehicle (or home) without probable cause, a warrant, or your consent, nothing they find is admissible in court. Unless TN has found someway to ignore the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution, this applies to Nashville cops too. I’m not saying a cop won’t try to do it anyways, but they can’t LEGALLY search it.

    All of which is really irrelevant to the sheer WTF part of your analogy which you’ve failed to clarify. I guess when you put up an indefensible argument it’s easier to just change the subject when you get called on it.

  9. I’m responding to B’s fantasy scenario. So there’s the WTF argument. It’s in response to a WTF argument.

    Setting aside the fact that cops can and will suddenly produce probable cause, even without that bit of chicanery, you have a far lower expectation of privacy concerning your car, as compared with your house.
    Do a google search. The SPOTUS has upheld one case after another that shows this. Everything from the fact that cars are mobile, to the fact that they are required to be maintained to a level set by the state. A good rule of thumb is to assume you have pretty much no 4th amendment protection for your car.
    And in this case, if an arrest has been made, they can search the vehicle.

  10. I’m responding to B’s fantasy scenario. So there’s the WTF argument. It’s in response to a WTF argument.

    I dunno, the idea that a police force might opt to arrest a group of brown people, even if they appear to be less threatening than a group of white people, because they know they will get paid more for arresting the brown people seems a hell of alot more reasonable to me than police ought to arrest brown people just in case they happen to have an under-aged rape victim in their trunk.

  11. The latter is, however, not too far from the scenario the Nashville police present when talking to community groups in primarily black and/or white neighborhoods about their proactive policing policies. They talk about finding drugs, though, not under-aged rape victims. And not that they actually say “brown,” they just hint a lot.

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