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Jailed for $280: The Return of Debtors’ Prisons

Lisa Lindsay testifies before officials from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
A breast cancer survivor who was sent to prison over a mistaken $280 medical bill has highlighted the return of debtor’s prisons in the U.S.  Illinois resident Lisa Lindsay had received the medical bill in error and was told she did not have to pay up.
However, the bill was turned over to a collection agency and state troopers arrived at her home and took her away in handcuffs.  The Illinois teaching assistant eventually had to pay more than $600 to escape prison, as legal fees were added to the bill.
‘I paid it in full so they couldn’t do it to me again,’ said Lindsay whose plight has alerted law-makers in Illinois to the growing problem.
The case of Lindsay as well as others suggests that more people than ever before in the U.S are being thrown in ‘debtor’s prisons’ for not being able to pay back loans.
Jack Hinton, a sporadically employed roofer was sent to jail by a central Illinois judge until he could come up with $300 on a debt he owed a lumberyard
Disabled roofer Jack Hinton sat in jail until he could come up with $300 on a debt he owed a lumberyard.
According to a hearing transcript, a central Illinois judge listened to Hinton’s story, noted he’d recently been paid after finishing a roofing job, and said: ‘Mr. Hinton, you had $1,000 in your pocket, you chose to spend it elsewhere in violation of the court order. That lands you in jail.’
Hinton’s wife took out a loan to buy his freedom. Her $300 went to the debt collector.  Debt collectors have become so aggressive claim some that poor people who are behind on payments of as little as $25 a month are being sent to jail.
A 2010 report by the American Civil Liberties Union that examined five states – Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington — discovered that people were being imprisoned at ‘increasingly alarming rates’ through legal debts.
Some of the examples cited included a woman who arrested four individual times for failure to pay $251 in fines and costs related to a fourth-degree misdemeanor conviction.
Another example that the ACLU used was of a mentally ill juvenile imprisoned by a judge for a conviction for stealing school supplies.
‘The sad truth is that debtors’ prisons are flourishing today, more than two decades after the Supreme Court prohibited imprisoning those who are too poor to pay their legal debts,’ said the ACLU.Read more:  thank you battleskin88

Meanwhile check out some of  these figures the U.S. Government spends U.S. tax payer money on Illegal Immigration, and they want to throw citizens in jail/prison for $300 and cut Social Security payments to those who have paid social security for years. 

The Costs Of Illegal Immigration To Ohioans (2012)

Ohio’s illegal immigrant population costs the state’s taxpayers an estimated $879 million per year for education, medical care, law enforcement, social services and other government services. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $200 per Ohio household headed by a U.S. citizen.Some state and local taxes are received from illegal immigrants — even from those working off the books. But, those same tax collections, or more likely an increased amount, would occur if the jobs were done by legal workers. So, unless it is illogically assumed that no legal U.S. or immigrant or foreign guestworker would do the jobs now done by illegal workers, it makes little sense to consider this a true offset to the tax burden. The estimated amount of the taxes currently collected from the illegal workers is about $18.8 million per year.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) For Noncitizens

Some refugees and other noncitizens can get SSI for up to seven years. If your SSI payments are limited to seven years because of your particular noncitizen status, we will send you a letter telling you when your seven-year period ends. We will send you another letter explaining your rights to appeal before we stop your payments.

Illegal Immigration Costs California

OverTen Billion Annually

In hosting America’s largest population of illegal immigrants, California bears a huge cost to provide basic human services for this fast growing, low-income segment of its population. A new study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) examines the costs of education, health care and incarceration of illegal aliens, and concludes that the costs to Californians is $10.5 billion per year.

ICE reveals cost for deporting each


Ever wonder how much it costs to deport an illegal immigrant?
That estimate — the cost for arresting, detaining and deporting someone from the U.S. — comes from Immigration and Customs Enforcement deputy director Kumar Kibble.
Kibble said the U.S. spent $5 billion last year to deport a record 393,000 immigrants.
Immigrant advocates today are strategically calling the $12,500 cost a “deportation tax.”
Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. If you do the math, that would mean it would cost $137 billion to deport all illegal immigrants. That’s pretty close to the estimate we reported last month.
Republicans on the immigration committee criticized President Barack Obama and ICE, saying they have softened the tougher worksite enforcement approach employed by President George W. Bush.


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