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Detention By Design

  • As the immigration detention system flourished since the 1980s, it led to the creation of the private prison industry. The last episode of WLRN's podcast Detention By Design looks at the inextricable links between the two, and how, in turn, the picture has gone full circle in 2022, leaving us in a place very similar to the early days of Haitian and Cuban arrivals in Florida.
  • The amount of Haitians held in immigration detention skyrockets and the federal government starts holding them in federal prisons. Facing accusations of racism inside and outside the courts, the Reagan Administration decided to make a drastic policy shift: instead of treating Haitians like everyone else, it would now treat everyone else like Haitians.
  • Episode 4 of Detention By Design looks at the 1980 event that came to be known as the Mariel Boatlift and the turning point it marked for the U.S. immigration detention system. As 125,000 Cuban refugees landed in Florida, most spent only a day or two in a processing center - while Haitians were held for much longer. The lessons learned by the federal government during this often chaotic time would shape the years that followed.
  • WLRN’s former editorial director, Alicia Zuckerman, joins Sundial Now to talk about her time in South Florida and her new focus on making radio more accessible to those with hearing loss.
  • WLRN’s former editorial director, Alicia Zuckerman, joins Sundial Now to talk about her time in South Florida and her new focus on making radio more accessible to those with hearing loss.
  • By 1976, an estimated 1,500 Haitians had arrived in South Florida by boat. Even amid widespread repression and persecution at home, successive U.S. governments categorically denied Haitians were asking for political asylum. In the third episode of Detention By Design, we look at how the Cold War shaped immigration detention in the late 1970s - with those fleeing Communist regimes being granted asylum, while Haitians were being thrown in jail.
  • The second episode of Detention By Design follows the revealing story of Abel Jean-Simon Zephyr, a Haitian who arrived in Miami by boat in 1973. He asked for political asylum, but authorities - caught flat-footed - paid the sheriff's office at remote Immokalee, Florida, to hold him and others at its tiny jail. It marked the miserable, and at times tragic, beginning of the modern immigration detention system.
  • 'They looked at the United States as a land of freedom. They were going to come and be free - and what they found was not that.' WLRN News’ podcast Detention By Design explores how the waves of refugees that started coming to South Florida 50 years ago shaped the current immigration and detention system in the U.S. Reporter Danny Rivero joins Sundial Now to discuss this project.
  • 'They looked at the United States as a land of freedom. They were going to come and be free - and what they found was not that.' WLRN News’ podcast Detention By Design explores how the waves of refugees that started coming to South Florida 50 years ago shaped the current immigration and detention system in the U.S. Reporter Danny Rivero joins Sundial Now to discuss this project.
  • Fifty years ago, Haitian refugees fleeing a brutal dictatorship started to land on the shores of Florida. These arrival by boats, and later those from Cuba, sparked a wholesale change of how the immigration system works in the U.S. — the beginning of the modern era of mass immigration detention. The effects are still felt today, as record numbers seek the Land of the Free and end up in detention.