The Great Debate
The Great Debate
I had the dream again, I was in a room with concrete floors and concrete walls except for one that was made of glass. There was a door but it was made of heavy steel, there was no escape. I wanted to scream but when I tried I had no voice, nothing came out. On the other side of the glass was a man, was he my brother, my relative or maybe my husband? I didn't know, I felt that I loved him. He was ushered past, able to pause only for a moment to press his hand to mine through the glass. I tried to speak but nothing, I had no voice. He would not have heard me anyway through this steel, concrete and glass.
My dream became real; I had taken a job with a private security company. It paid well and would provide for my children. At the interview after filling out a mountain of paperwork I was asked if I had any questions. "Yes" I said "Who am I really working for?" I was given no answer; my paperwork said U.S. Department of Justice so how bad could it be? I did know that I would be working in a brand new prison of the latest design, equipped with millions of dollars worth of technology. No one was there yet but the people coming must be the worst kind of criminals I thought. My first day in Intake and Processing, I learned who my employer really was. When the computers came to life and the screens lit up, the screen saver was that of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In that moment I found myself with a front row seat to one of the greatest debates in American history, immigration. This was not a prison it was a detention center, these were not inmates they were detainees and I was not a guard I was an officer. I had worked in prisons before and this was the most secure I had ever seen but I was not allowed to call it that. When the first groups of people came in, I realized how true my dream had been. This was not the first time I had worked in a prison but it was the first with a population of men and women. The holding cells were tanks made of steel, concrete and glass.
I resigned after six years, I did my job well. I upheld my work ethic, morals and values, I had supported my children. At the end of the day the stories of the people held there kept me awake at night. I pondered issues, the great debate, things I had never considered before. The world was here, two thousand people representing over two hundred countries and I felt helpless, without a voice. I cannot tell you their stories; I am bound by ethics and confidentiality. I can tell you my story; with World Pulse I now have a voice.