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Publishers WeeklyHefner, a guard in the 1980s at the Port Isabel immigration detention center in the Rio Grande valley of Texas, witnessed physical, emotional, financial, and drug-related abuses perpetrated on detainees by INS officers. Hefner cites instances of gross misconduct, and laments "the men, women, and children caught between the fences of U.S. government policy and the degenerate power of its enforcers" at Port Isabel. He recalls that INS officers and security supervisors demanded sexual favors from detainees, for example, and unlawful inspections of detainee court papers and possessions. Though Hefner empathized with his fellow guards, he made efforts to stop the abuse, contacting the Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, leading state politicians, and even the U.S. Attorney General, though he doesn't know if his efforts resulted in any action. The author's ethical and political positions are clear; while we send armed servicemen and women to prison for abuse abroad, he states, we don't "...hold federal officials accountable for the same crimes within our own borders." His book is a valuable first-person account of an important and timely subject.
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