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Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

  • 1.  Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-24-2019 11:27
    Dear AIA Board, members of the College of Fellows

    I’m not sure if you have read this article or similar coverage of the humanitarian crisis at our country’s southern boarders. Please read the article below. It highlights not only failings of unjust policies and procedures by our government - but the most alarming aspect is the failings of the architecture that perpetuates unsafe and unsanitary conditions at these refugee detention camps where unregulated numbers of young children are being separated from adult family members and provided subhuman housing and lack of basic health, safety and welfare (windowless warehouses and sleeping on concrete floors). The article describes the facilities in detail as not being intended for children, or for the numbers currently detained for long periods of time.

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/inside-a-texas-building-where-the-government-is-holding-immigrant-children

    I ask that we as architect professionals responsible for the public’s health, safety and welfare not look away or remain complicit. Suggestions for consideration -

    1. Issue a Position statement that unequivocally denounces injustices and misuse of building types that are not meant for human habitations.

    2. Call for building inspections to have these facilities shut down

    3. Write/Call our U.S Senators and Representatives to enact legislation have these facilities shut down, cited for violations, revoke permits.

    4. Open to further ideas for taking action as members of the Institute (there is much more we can do as citizens.)

    With greatest respect and gratitude for your service,

    Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA
    Principal, Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
    SmithGroup


    Sent from my iPad


  • 2.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-25-2019 17:40
    We could also work to elect legislators that recognize that securing the boarder discourages the kind of problem we now see.  And it is sad that congress will not act to mitigate these conditions.

    Actually, it looks like Mexico is finally getting to the heart of the problem before most of our elected professional politicians.

    This is not the time for US political strategists to carry sway.

    ------------------------------
    Douglas Engebretson FAIA
    President
    DKE Design
    Siesta Key FL
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-26-2019 17:21
    I'm happy to sign any letter...
    Doug Kelbaugh 





  • 4.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-25-2019 18:04

    Thank you Rosa.  I am willing to sign a letter from our group.  I'm glad you put this in perspective of health welfare and safety.  This is situation is untenable.  After reading this article, I contacted my congressman.  I'm not sure how we can live in a society that allows this to go on.  Lois Vitt Sale, FAIA

    Lois Vitt Sale, FAIA, LEED Fellow
    Senior Vice President
    Wight & Company
    2500 North Frontage Road
    Darien, IL  60561

    630.969.7000 | d 630.739.7514 | m 630.450.1662 | f 630.969.7979
    www.wightco.com






  • 5.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-25-2019 18:34
    5)  On November 3, 2020, vote against those elected officials who implement and encourage such policies.

    As far as a real candidate, use the advice from Jeff Jacoby's recent "Arguable" column regarding presidential qualifications: 
    "In 2020, I'll be looking for a candidate not so much with the right resume as the right values: a sense of honor, a measure of wisdom, an open mind, a stable temperament, a sound ideological compass, and a commitment to American strength and goodness. I want to vote for a thoughtful candidate of good character. The political climate in this country isn't encouraging. But I haven't yet given up hope."

    ------------------------------
    Edmond Gauvreau, FAIA
    Washington, DC
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-25-2019 18:39
    I enthusiastically, though not with any joy, support this effort.
    Mike Mense FAIA

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 7.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-25-2019 19:16
    From the architectural perspective, I would have grave reservations about using building codes as a tool to close the facilities and likely deny these children the shelter they now have when they already suffer from lack of supplies, medical care, parental protections and a variety of other non-architectural needs. As an organization of more than 90,000, I would suggest that the AIA could perhaps provide greatest relief by organizing to provide some of the supplies that seem to be so desperately needed, much as we might after a natural disaster where people find themselves in similar difficulties.

    ------------------------------
    Norman Alston, FAIA
    Principal
    Norman Alston Architects
    Dallas, Texas
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-25-2019 19:51
    Norm,
    The problem is that CBP and ICE are refusing all donations of supplies, even though they may need them.  One reason is federal policy - agencies cannot accept donations of supplies that are supposed to be provided by appropriated funds, unless there is specific exceptions written into law.  Another is the sheer callousness of these agencies that has festered over many years - amplified by the lack of cohesive immigration policy from Congress and the White House for over 30 years.

    FWIW, my daughter who studied in Canada for 6 years was harassed by a couple of CBP guards upon entering back into the USA, questioning her reasons for going to school abroad and even her citizenship (and she is a blue-eyed, dirty blonde, pale-skinned young lady).

    Again, best way is to elect a President who will make immigration reform paramount, and also pick leadership for both ICE and CBP that will not tolerate such behavior and will clean house (though that will take quite some time).

    My opinion - disband the entire Department of Homeland Security and send the agencies back to their original agencies.  In almost 20 years, they still have not gained synchronization of efforts across the 22 separate agencies that are part of DHS.

    ------------------------------
    Edmond Gauvreau, FAIA
    Washington, DC
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-26-2019 17:36
    News reports today noted people showing up spontaneously at these detention centers with supplies for the children. They are being turned away by authorities of the various Agencies running the centers. Those authorities refuse to accept the supplies, stating flatly that they have access to plenty of supplies. It is clear the policies governing the authorities' actions are the issue not a lack of supplies. 

    Its about leadership and values. We have an election coming in November 2020. Study the candidates carefully and be informed before casting your ballot. I suggest focusing on those that exhibit leadership and values that reinforce those that people around the globe look to the United States to provide.

    RK Stewart FAIA
    2007 AIA President
    M: 415.250.4849
    rk@rkstewartconsultants.com







  • 10.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-25-2019 21:33
    I completely agree.
    This should come from National AIA. How do we make that happen?
    --
    David Burney | Academic Coordinator - 
    MS - Urban Placemaking and Management

    PRATT INSTITUTE
    Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment
    Higgins Hall, room 206, 61 St James Place | Brooklyn, NY 11238
    phone: (718) 399-4323
    cell: 917 789 2143 dburn153@pratt.edu





  • 11.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-27-2019 13:30
    Dear Colleagues in the USA :

    An american friend living here in Colombia who is, lamentably, an intractable Trump fan, said to me recently that the horrible images I had seen in international TV on the theme of the buildings in Texas where the children separated from their parents are kept in detention  are not only fake news but also  democratic propaganda against the US Government. Also, i was astounded when I read about  architect Gauvreau's daughter harassment by customs agents on flimsy and false suspicions. Both these things sound as  coming from  Nazi Germany in the nineteen thirties, back in the XXth century and are mighty difficult to accept and assimilate.

    I know only too well that as a Colombian citizen I can't take active part in american politics but also that I have total freedom to think and write what I please about late happenings in your country. A geographic irony: It was in Texas (Dallas, 1978) that I received my honorary fellowship in the AIA . Times do change, certainly. I still remember walking aound in Houston, Texas in 1965 looking for some place where I could have lunch and facing, time and again, big notices in their windows or entrances : Admittance reserved or No service to foreigners, and so on. Then again, in later decades I found and photographed the  beautiful, friendly face of America in my time in New England and also came to know its  ugly,  xenophobic, deeply racist mask in  other places and regions of this country, so I know what I am talking about.

    Sincerely,

    German Tellez. Hon.FAIA

    ------------------------------
    German Tellez Hon. FAIA
    Bogota D.C.
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-26-2019 12:07
    Rosa,

    I also applaud your stance and call for action. I am currently writing an article for CommonEdge.org on the topic. With your permission, I would like to quote some of your post. Please let me know if that will be okay.

    ------------------------------
    Richard Buday FAIA
    Archimage, Inc.
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-26-2019 17:23
    Rosa,

    Count me in!

    Michael

    ------------------------------
    Michael Holtz FAIA
    Boulder CO
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-27-2019 20:48
    I will also sign
    Michael Stepner FAIA FAICP

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 15.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-27-2019 17:33
    I am happy to sign-on and assist in our collective response in opposition to these inhuman and immoral policies. 

    Gregory Blackburn, FAIA

    Architect

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 16.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-27-2019 21:01
    Dear Architect Richard Buday.

    I am glad to authorize any quote you may wish to make from my post. It is a honor for me to write something for the AIA.

    Sincerely,

    Germán Téllez
    Hon. FAIA

    ------------------------------
    German Tellez Hon. FAIA
    Bogota D.C.
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-27-2019 17:41
    I am happy to sign-on and assist in our collective response in opposition to these inhuman and immoral policies. 


    ------------------------------
    Gregory Blackburn FAIA
    Design Studio Leader | Higher Education
    Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED)
    Oakland CA
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-27-2019 18:44
    Richard,
    Feel free to quote me on this or any matter we discuss.
    Good luck with the article.
    Doug




  • 19.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-28-2019 18:15

    I agree and happy to sign-on and assist in our collective response in opposition to these inhuman and immoral policies. 

     

     

    Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, LEEDAP

    Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP

    299 Broadway, Suite 1107 

    New York, NY 10007-1946 

    Tel: 212.929.4417 Ext. 13

    Direct 212.634.1647

    Fax: 212.929.4756

    Mark@cplusga.com

    www.cplusga.com

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  • 20.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-27-2019 18:56
    I will be willing to sign any letter.  This is the kind of issue where architects should be involved.
    Best
    Jan Wampler  
    Jan Wampler, FAIA
    Distinguished Professor, ACSA
    Markborough Endowed Professor, USF
    Professor of Architecture, Emeritus, MIT
    Jan Wampler Studio  Architecture/Urban Design
    Office 617 253 7904
    Cell     617 763 4908
    wampler@mit.edu

     

     






  • 21.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-28-2019 06:05

    Dear College.

     

    I am an Hon FAIA from the UK, and feeling sick to my boots having read this article.  I can only describe what I read as a concentration camp, and the separation as a major humanitarian disgrace. Rosa and fellows: would you like me to get some support from the RIBA for this cause?

     

    Jane

    JANE DUNCAN OBE http://www.totalsurveys.co.uk/portals/0/images/RIBA_FULLCREST(black).jpg RIBA Past President, ABS President, Hon FAIA, Hon FRIAS, Hon RSUA
    For and on behalf of Jane Duncan Architects Ltd

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  • 22.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-27-2019 17:35
    Please also count me in.
    This policy is an abuse and ignores basic human rights.
    Families and especially children will long suffer from this.
    The US will no longer be able to use its power to influence other nations based on human rights.
    We are already looked at as hypocrites and it will be much harder to negotiate for even our benefit.
    This is a stupid and a cruel policy.

    ------------------------------
    Franziska Amacher FAIA
    Principle, NCAARB, LEED AP
    Amacher and Associates
    Cambridge MA
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-29-2019 03:54
    I too will sign a letter protesting this inhumane treatment of fellow humans. 
    Hubert Murray FAIA

    --
    HUBERT MURRAY FAIA | 204 ERIE STREET CAMBRIDGE MA 02139
    T | 617.492.3532     M | 617.794.4600





  • 24.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 06-29-2019 11:23
    Please count me in as well!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Tom Bates, FAIA
    Principal Emeritus
    BLRB Architects




  • 25.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-01-2019 22:17
    Please add my name to the letter.

    Thank you.

    Julia W. Robinson, FAIA

    ------------------------------
    Julia Robinson FAIA
    Minneapolis MN
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-03-2019 09:58
    Please add my name to the list.

    ------------------------------
    Louis Garapolo FAIA
    Garapolo & Associates
    Oak Park IL
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-01-2019 22:32
    Rosa,

    I will support and sign whatever is needed for this cause!

    Annie

    ------------------------------
    Annie Chu FAIA, NCARB, IIDA
    Principal, Chu+Gooding Architects
    Chu + Gooding Architects
    Los Angeles CA
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-03-2019 05:09
    Please add my name to this letter and cause. If only there was stronger action we could take. But silence is unacceptable.

    Charles F. Merz, FAIA
    MERZ& Associates
    Detroit, Michigan

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 29.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-02-2019 02:03
    Thank you for raising this issue, Rosa.

    As a former refugee myself, I condemn policies that treat people who are simply trying to escape from war, violence or other terrible circumstances to seek safety and protection like criminals or worse. The US did not treat me this way when my family and I arrived here over 40 years ago. This kind of policies betrays the ideals of America and we must all oppose such inhumane treatment of fellow human beings.

    Thang Do, FAIA
    CEO, Aedis Architects
    San Jose, California


    ------------------------------
    Thang Do FAIA
    AEDIS Architects
    San Jose CA
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-02-2019 17:26
    Please add my name and thanks for doing this.

    Henry

    ------------------------------
    Henry Siegel FAIA
    Siegel & Strain Architects
    Emeryville CA
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-03-2019 03:32
    Please add my name to the group

    Jane Duncan PPRIBA HonAIA

    Sent from my iPhone

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  • 32.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-02-2019 17:52
    Please also add my name to the letter. I am disgusted by what's going on.

    ------------------------------
    Dawn Zuber FAIA
    Owner
    Studio Z Architecture
    Plymouth MI
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-03-2019 14:13
    Edited by Rosa Sheng 07-03-2019 14:14
    Thanks to all that have replied thus far. The weight of issues since I originally sent this email has increased since last week.

    15 Congressional members have visited 2 sites and corroborated conditions that are inhumane, undignified and unsafe for women, families and children. While our government is starting to take action, many of the detention centers are private, for profit companies who are detaining migrants/asylum seekers in these conditions. While some may view that we should not be involved in this conversation - our AIA Code of Ethics asks us to uphold human rights in our professional endeavors.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/us/politics/border-center-migrant-detention.html

    This issue goes beyond party or political affiliation - this is about humanity and our core values to uphold health, safety and welfare. People are dying.

    I haven't heard back from the AIA National Board yet, I know that people are travelling on summer conferences and PTO. I am hoping to be in conversation with President Bill Bates and ED Robert Ivy very soon.

    I intend to work on a draft statement tomorrow on Independence Day (there is a significance to that) that I will circulate w/ those that have shared an expressed interested to support. If you feel strongly to contribute in the statement itself, please let me know and I will share the google document of the draft statement for your collaboration and input.

    I am inspired by the support of the Fellows who have responded. While we may be diverse in our beliefs in this profession, I am hopeful in the empathy, compassion and humanity that brings us together in times of duress, complexity and uncertainty.

    ------------------------------
    Rosa Sheng FAIA
    AIASF Past President 2018, Founder Equity by Design
    Principal, SmithGroup
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children | The New Yorker

    Posted 07-16-2019 14:19
    Please add my name to the list as well.

    Thank you Rosa for your leadership and vision.

    Karen

    Karen Fiene, FAIA, LEED AP
    Director of Construction, Compliance and Sustainability
    pronouns: she, her

    Mills College
    5000 MacArthur Blvd
    Oakland    CA 94613
     
    work: 510-430-2323
    cell:   510-708-1347