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Listen: New York Action to Demand #EndChildDetention and #EndFamilyDetention

November 21, 2014

On November 20, 2014 in New York City, several organizations held a vigil to demand the end of immigration detention for children and families.

The United Nations met on November 20 in New York to celebrate the 25th anniversary of  the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which  monitors implementation of the treaty has called for an end to child and family detention: “… The detention of a child because of their or their parents’ migration status constitutes a child rights violation and always contravenes the principle of the best interests of the child. In this light, States should expeditiously and  completely cease the detention of children on the basis of their immigration status.”

The United States and other governments continue to violate children’s rights by detaining and deporting parents and creating family detention centers. Advocates and migrant families will gather at the United Nations for a candle light vigil urging an end to detention, particularly child and family detention. This will be followed by a panel event exploring the impacts of detention on  children and needed State actions to defend their human rights.

The vigil was sponsored by the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, American Friends Service Committee ,Black Alliance for Just Immigration, DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center, First Friends of New Jersey & New York, Families for Freedom, Immigrant Defense Project, International Detention Coalition, Justice Strategies, Loretto at the UN, New Sanctuary Movement, Reformed Church of Highland Park, Terre Des Hommes, United Methodist Women, We Belong Together Campaign, & Women’s Refugee Commission for Refugee Women and Children.

DWN Slams Obama Executive Action on Deportations for Not Including Critical Detention Reforms #ExposeandClose #EndtheQuota

November 20, 2014
Thursday, 20 November 2014

Statement from Silky Shah, co-director of the Detention Watch Network, on news that President Obama has announced executive action on immigration and deportation relief for 4 million undocumented Americans:

“President Obama’s action today to delay the deportation of roughly 4 million undocumented immigrants is an encouraging step that unfortunately does not fully address the glaring human rights violations occurring under his tenure. We are in the midst of a crisis– families are being locked up in jails, the largest detention center in United States history will open by the end of the year, and more than 34,000 people are forcibly detained every night across the U.S. due to the arbitrary detention ‘bed quota.’

“Plain and simple, the U.S. government must end its reliance on immigration detention and eliminate the detention bed quota, which requires at minimum 34,000 immigrants be detained at any given time. President Obama’s executive action will do nothing to protect both documented and undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions who have already paid their debt to society, and will instead intensify the dragnet in order to earn political points and maintain the corrupt and arbitrary quota.”

For interviews with the Detention Watch Network, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at

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The Detention Watch Network works through the collective strength and diversity of its members to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

New CIVIC Project Launch: “Drawing By Themselves: Portraits of America” #EndFamilyDetention @endisolation

November 20, 2014

Via Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement:

Marcela_Main_real-300x279Today, CIVIC is releasing “Drawings By Themselves: Portraits of America,” a multimedia that provides children and their parents in U.S. immigration detention with an opportunity to share their experience through drawings and stories.  CIVIC produced the project in partnership with the International Detention Coalition, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and the Global Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children.

“Drawings By Themselves: Portraits of America” tells a story about America today.  Through their artwork, the children and parents express their humanity and claim the United States as their own, even as the Obama Administration continues to expand family detention in response to the recent arrival of Central American women and children asylum seekers fleeing violence in their home countries.

“Immigration detention is a one-size-fits-all ‘solution’ that locks up mothers, fathers, and children in unimaginable isolation,” said Christina Fialho, a California attorney and co-executive director of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC).  “Imprisoning children and families is a human rights violation.”

For More Information:

Action Alert: Nov. 20 International Day of Action Against Child and Family Detention #EndFamilyDetention #EndChildDetention

November 19, 2014
Marking the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, tomorrow, November 20th, over 20 countries will participate in the International Detention Coalition’s day of action to end the inhumane and unlawful practice of child and family detention. 
Read below on actions near you and ways to support!
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Social Media
Share this image on your social media platforms!
Sample Tweet: All children have rights #EndChildDetention #CRC25 #EndFamilyDetention

  • Use #EndChildDetention and #EndFamilyDetention
  • Join IDC’s thundercalp to amplify your voice against child detention!

Educate your Community

Use DWN’s Family Detention Webpage for talking points, backgrounders, and a list of member reports and resources on family detention.
Make a Statement
*Note: Member resource*
Use DWN’s sample press release and messaging guide to craft your statement against child and family detention. Contact for more information.

DWN Members React to Artesia Closure and Opening of Dilley Facility #ExposeandClose #EndFamilyDetention

November 19, 2014

DWN members issued the following statements below (Check back for updates):

childrens picture

 A child’s letter of hope to kids inside a family detention center

ACLU of Texas: ICE to Transfer Mothers and Children to For-Profit Detention Center

American Immigration Lawyers Association: Administration’s Shell Game Doesn’t Change the Need to End Inhumane Family Detention

Grassroots Leadership: Closure of Artesia Facility Necessary, But Massive New For-Profit Detention Camp Should Not Replace It

Human Rights First: Administration Should Abandon Texas Family Detention Center Plan

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services: LIRS Statement in Response to Artesia Closure: End Family Detention

National Immigrant Justice Center: DHS to Close Controversial Artesia Family Detention Center, Open Largest Immigration Detention Center in U.S. History

Women’s Refugee Commission: Women’s Refugee Commission Responds to DHS Announcement to Move Families out of Artesia into the New Family Detention Center in Dilley, TX

Mission Presbytery Immigration Task Force:

Mission Presbytery Immigration Task Force celebrates the decision to close the Artesia detention facility. Unfortunately, this is just the first step in ending family detention in the United States. We will continue to advocate for the closing of this inhumane and abhorrent practice that runs counter to our faith and patriotism. Detaining children in the basis of their parents’ immigration status is unacceptable and never appropriate. We will continue to advocate for an end to family detention everywhere including the close of the for profit Karnes Family Detention Center in Karnes, Texas. We also believe plans to expand family detention through the construction of a new facility in Dilley, Texas are unacceptable. We pause to celebrate the closing of Artesia, but only in the context of the destructive and offensive policy of detaining mothers and their children in jail.

DWN Slams ICE Plans to Open New Family Detention Facility in Dilley TX, Applaud Closing of #Artesia #EndFamilyDetention

November 18, 2014

karnes action Oct. 2014 - kidsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


Brett Abrams  :

Statement from Silky Shah, co-director of the Detention Watch Network, on the announcement that ICE plans to transfer women and children currently held at the Artesia Family Detention Center to Dilley in December.

“News that the White House plans to double-down on their failed, inhumane, and alarmingly punitive response to refugee families arriving at the border by opening a new facility to incarcerate families and children in Dilley, Texas is deeply disappointing.

While we have long advocated for the closure of the Artesia Detention Facility, ICE’s decision to transition detained women and children to a new facility in Dilley completely misses the issue at hand. Family detention is an abusive, and inhumane practice that erodes family bonds, and undermines children’s well being.    Read more…

New Report via @Grassroots_News and @Just_Strategies on #FamilyDetention

October 8, 2014

New Report from DWN members, Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies

For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families

GL - Karnes Action A new report, For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families, authored by Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies details the long history of abuse and misconduct in facilities owned by private prison companies and the need to end family detention now. Excerpt from the report:

The GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America have exceptionally troubled histories when operating facilities detaining children, immigrants, and families. The unprecedented move to expand immigrant family detention – largely relying on these same for-profit prison corporations – raises many concerns about ICE’s policies related to asylum-seeking families.

Read more…