Federal ICE Access Programs and GA HB87 Driving Unprecedented Targeting and Deportation in the State
Atlanta, GA – July 31, 2014: Today advocacy organizations publish a new report based on data made available through FOIA litigation with the state and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement that both outline the metastasizing growth of local police’s involvement in immigration enforcement and the resulting patterns of prejudice and collateral deportation in local practice with little to no evidence of any relation to actual public safety efforts.
The data reveals that the federal agency’s practice of requesting the extended incarceration of an individual because of the suspicion of the immigration status known as ICE detainers rose 17,169% from 2007 to 2013 with 96% of those targeted being of “dark or medium complexion.”
In addition to the racial implications of the newly released statistics, the study identifies that at least 54% of those taken into ICE custody were long-time Georgia residents who had called this country home since at least 2003 resulting in the separation of families where 48,135 US citizen children in Georgia had a parent taken by ICE and 17,497 Georgia residents had a spouse taken by ICE in the four years between 2007 and June of 2013.
Finally the exaggerated emphasis on immigration status in local law enforcement resoundingly counters the public safety pretext of police-ICE collaboration noting that Immigration officials do not even record a “Detainer Criminal Offense Level” in nearly half of records available and in those where it is recording, 40% are identified as “level three,” having been convicted of traffic or other minor offenses.
Azadeh Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia explains, “The numbers revealed today are both damning of what has happened to law enforcement in Georgia and heartbreaking for what it has done to Georgia communities. One can feel the chilling effect this has had with confidence in police and the risk to all of our safety when so many Georgia residents have been harmed and live in fear of the deportation apparatus that the police have lent themselves to. Contained in the report is the human cost, erosion of rights, and the rise of a culture of suspicion in our state that must be addressed.”
“No one should be afraid to call 9-1-1,” explains Adelina Nicholls, Executive Director of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights. “But that is exactly what has happened since police became involved in filling federal deportation quotas. We all want to live in safe communities but the well known threat of your neighbor being torn from his or her family makes that an impossibility. Sheriffs who want to focus on policing and not on persecuting Georgians for the color of their skin should join the 165 plus jurisdictions around the country that are cutting their ties with ICE in order to rebuild them with the community.”
“The data shows that the exponential growth of hyper-immigration enforcement has torn apart thousands of Georgia families,” said Alina Das, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at New York University Law School. “Georgia officials have an opportunity and an obligation to protect families by ending state and local involvement in programs that funnel parents and longtime residents into the broken immigration system.”
The Report “Prejudice, Policing, and Public Safety: The Impact of Immigration Hyper-Enforcement in Georgia” was produced by the ACLU of Georgia, GLAHR, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the NYU School of Law and is available online here.
The Georgia #Not1More Campaign is urging the Dekalb and Fulton County Sheriffs to follow the example of more than 165 other jurisdictions who have limited or eliminated submission to the unjust and burdensome ICE hold requests in the wake of recent court rulings finding their violation of 4th amendment rights.
On Friday afternoon, the Presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will be meeting with President Obama and Vice-President Biden at the White House to discuss the dire situation facing refugee children.
Let’s join together to call on President Obama to uphold and defend the legal rights of children, ensure that families can be reunited and protected here in the U.S., and to take responsibility for U.S. economic and military policies in Mexico and Central America that helped create this crisis in the first place.
We need your help to make this a powerful action! Read more…
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Silky Shah, email@example.com
Decision comes after the Immigration Jail was Regarded as one of the Worst in the Country
After years of outrage at the conditions for immigrants in detention at the Pinal County Jail, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ended its contract with the county. Since 2005, ICE has used the Pinal County Jail in Florence, Arizona to detain immigrants facing removal in Arizona. In 2012, in response to repeated hunger strikes and protest letters from people detained in the jail, Arizona advocates responded by holding vigils, organizing visitation programs and advocating for the termination of this contract. As recently as June 2014, men detained in the jail began a hunger strike in protest of the conditions.
This week the House and Senate will be addressing President Obama’s supplemental request for $3.7 billion in response to the increase of women and children seeking refuge at the border. As part of the package, the Administration has requested an expansion to 6,300 detention beds, which will include family detention centers to hold women and children behind bars. Expansion has already started in New Mexico and Texas and is expected to continue in the coming weeks.
Help stop the needless incarceration of families and children by calling your member of Congress TODAY and telling them Congress should not fund family detention. Read more…
via @Grassroots_News: Grassroots Leadership decries return of for-profit immigrant family detention in Texas
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to detain children and families fleeing violence at a for-profit prison in Karnes City, Texas
(AUSTIN, Texas) — Grassroots Leadership is deeply disappointed by the announcement today that the Karnes County Civil Detention Center southeast of San Antonio will be used to detain families and children fleeing violence in Central America.
The 600-bed Karnes County Detention Center is operated by for-profit private prison company GEO Group which has a long history of prisoner abuse, lawsuits alleging human rights violations, and deaths in custody. Read more…
DWN Lead Organizer
Location: Los Angeles, CA
DWN is seeking a full-time Lead Organizer who will work manage DWN’s national campaign and build our capacity on the West Coast, by recruiting and cultivating new and existing DWN members and supporting local and national efforts to stop detention expansion.
Location: Washington, DC
DWN is seeking a full-time Organizer who will help build the power of the network and our members by recruiting new organizations and individuals to join; and growing DWN’s capacity to support local, regional and national efforts challenging detention.
Report Back on Hill Briefing “Since My Mother Left”: Immigrant Children, Youth & Parents Tell their Stories of Family Separation
Guest post by DWN intern Diana Ofunwa:
On July 9, 2014, over 90 immigrant children and their families traveled from New Jersey to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to share their stories of family separation and their dreams of a better tomorrow. The event was organized by the American Friends Service Committee, in collaboration with Detention Watch Network, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Wind of the Spirit, and Centro Communitario CEUS and in cooperation with Senator Robert Menendez, and Representative Rush Holt. It provided a day of unity, education, and action.
The day began with a Congressional briefing. Rep. Rush Holt gave an empowering speech and asked the briefing attendees, “Help change the immigration framing. It’s not an immigration ‘problem.’” He also pushed back on the current narrative of enforcement first at the border, stating, “The children at the border are not numbers. They are not objects. Can we in good conscience just send them back?”
Rep. Holt set the tone of the day and was followed by children directly affected who spoke on how the current broken immigration system has impacted them and their families. Read more…