Researcher David Olen Cross has dug into the computer records of the US Federal Bureau of Prisons the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmates statistics website under the heading of inmate citizenship and this is what he found.
– Mexico 15,392 inmates, 9.9 percent;
– Colombia 1,569 inmates, 1.0 percent;
– Dominican Republic 1,243 inmates, 0.8 percent;
– Cuba 926 inmates, 0.6 percent;
– Other / unknown countries 7,548 inmates, 4.8 percent;
– United States 129,342 inmates, 82.9 percent;
Total Inmates: 156,020 inmates.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons breaks down the federal prison population into 13 types of offenses.
One of the top six offenses, the reason inmates are serving time in federal prisons is for immigration crimes. There were 6,439 inmates in the BOP prison system incarcerated for immigration crimes; they were 4.4 percent of the federal prison population.
Now, it should be understood that most prison inmates in the US are in state prisons, not federal prisons and information on the nationality of state prisoners is not readily available on their Web sites.
But it is known that there are many foreign nationals, many of whom come from the Caribbean, in prisons in, for example, Florida, where inmates are informally classified as Blacks, Whites, and Chicos regardless of actual nationality or dual citizenship.
In 2018 in conjunction with a Florida Prisoners Strike, a statement was issued by a group of Haitian inmates who said: “Prisons in America are nothing but a different form of slavery plantations and the citizens of the country are walking zombie banks. There are so many Haitians, Jamaican, and Latinos in the FDOC serving sentences that exceeds life expectancy and or life sentences who are not being deported. They use all immigrants, for free Labor and then deport them.”
It is not just in the US that Caribbean citizens seem to be having trouble following the rules set by authorities.
In Santo Domingo the National Police recently reported 123,147 arrests for violating Covid-19 sanitary measures and the curfew since March 20, when the ordinance that restricts free movement began.
Of the total arrested, some 65,600 were charged: 900 for resisting arrest and 87 for uploading videos to social networks violating the curfew and defying the authorities.
In Jamaica, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says provisions of the Disaster Risk Management Act will be rigorously enforced as part of the Government’s increased coronavirus (COVID-19) control measures.
“The Orders have been established in law as to what persons must do, and failure to comply will attract some sort of penalty.”
In a recent case in Jamaica the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, was investigated for breaches of the curfew after he tested positive for Covid-19. The results of that investigation have not been announced.
Leaders in Guyana have called for rigorous enforcement of Covid-19 rules, and in Cuba the whole of Havana has been put on a renewed lockdown and penalties have been enforced on those who do not comply.
154 fines have been applied including 11 drivers of state vehicles transiting without the relevant authorization. In addition, 108 people were fined for non-use or misuse of masks; 17 for consuming alcoholic beverages in public places, and 19 for staying in unauthorized spaces.
David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon is a researcher who writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime.