Recent reports have emerged of horrifying conditions at overcrowded immigration detention camps for children, leading many critics to call them concentration camps.

Whatever you call them, they destroy lives — and they come at a huge economic cost. As Kenia Alcocer shows this week, the money we’re pouring into for-profit detention facilities could instead be funding Head Start, higher education, and a whole lot more for children throughout the United States, wherever they were born. Which would make our country “greater”?

Of course, many immigrants — including people legally seeking asylum — don’t make it to the U.S. at all. In fact, as Karen Romero writes from Tijuana this week, the administration is forcing thousands of refugees to wait in overcrowded, often dangerous shelters on the Mexican side of the border while their claims are processed. With a backlog of over 800,000 cases, that could take years.

Also this week, Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson takes Ohio lawmakers to task for retreating on the state’s clean energy commitments and charging utility customers to bail out nuclear and coal plants — including one that’s not even in the state.

Finally, that brings us to the Fourth of July, which is coming up next week. Jill Richardson asks: How can we celebrate a country that’s so obviously flawed? The answer: by celebrating the movements that have fought for centuries to make it better.

New This Week…

Fund Head Start, Not Internment Camps | Kenia Alcocer
One policy gives children lifelong benefits. The other destroys lives.

How Do You Celebrate a Flawed Nation? | Jill Richardson
To love America is to love the movements that have fought for centuries to make it better.

Don’t Send Refugees Back to Danger | Karen Romero
We’re forcing asylum seekers to wait indefinitely in some of the world’s most dangerous cities. That has to stop.

Refusing to Fund Our Own Destruction | Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson
From the White House to Ohio, too many politicians care more about protecting toxic industries than their constituents.

Concentration Camps for Toddlers | Khalil Bendib
Separate for me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…

In Case You Missed It…

Support the Women’s World Cup Team | Brian Wakamo
The U.S. women’s soccer team outperforms its male counterpart but earns less — like women in every other field.

Medicare for All Would Save Money — and Lives | Negin Owliaei
The last thing on your mind during a ride to the ER should be: Is this going to bankrupt me?

State by State, the War on Cannabis is Ending | Paul Armentano
Dozens of new state laws are expanding legal cannabis use — and expunging the records of users caught up in the system.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of

OtherWords commentaries are free to re-publish in print and online — all it takes is a simple attribution to To get a roundup of our work each Wednesday, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.

(Note: Images credited to Getty or Shutterstock are not covered by our Creative Commons license. Please license these separately if you wish to use them.)