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2018.034.009 Oral History Interview with Claire Thomas and Ernie Collette July 21, 2017

This interview, led by a law professor and staff attorney, goes over immigration policies and detention facilities of the United States and how those policies have become shaped by the Golden Venture cargo ship. Golden Venture smuggled undocumented immigrants from China into the United States (Rockaway, Queens) in 1993. Claire and Ernie discuss the 1986 and 1996 immigration acts and how they changed within a decade. These policies, which were once welcoming to undocumented immigrants and immigrants looking for asylum, turned hostile post 9/11. The Homeland Security Act, which was introduced in 2002, largely impacted immigrants and ethnic communities that resided in the United States. Claire and Ernie describe the living conditions and locations of detention facilities throughout the United States. They also discuss the unjust process of deportation of undocumented immigrants during their check-ins with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These strict policies end up breaking up families and leaving unaccompanied children, even infants, in juvenile detention centers.