On August 15, 2014, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to provide deportation defense services at the Batavia Immigration Court in Western New York. The RFP is to identify a legal services provider to conduct a pilot program of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) at Batavia. NYIFUP, the nation’s first government-funded universal-representation program for detained immigrants, conducted a 190-case pilot last year at the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York City. NYIFUP has now been fully funded at Varick Street by the City of New York and has also expanded to serve detained New York City residents whose deportation cases are being heard in the Newark and Elizabeth (NJ) immigration courts.
On behalf of the Steering Committee and staff at Detention Watch Network (DWN), I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Ana K. Carrion and Silky Shah as Co- Directors of the Detention Watch Network. As longtime DWN staff, Ana and Silky have played a critical role in building the power of the Network to challenge and expose the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention system. Together they have increased visibility on detention issues, expanded DWN’s base locally and nationally, and worked with members to envision a world without immigrant detention. More recently, they worked seamlessly to move forward DWN’s key projects including: the End the Quota campaign, the Expose and Close reports and the 10th National DWN Member Conference. Read more…
Texans United for Families and others rallied in front of the T. Don Hutto Immigrant Detention Center in Taylor, TX on Saturday, August 9th, 2014. They marked the fifth anniversary of the end to family detention there – with love and rage. Read more here.
- Christina Fialho, Co-Executive Director, CIVIC, CFialho@endisolation.org, 385-212-4842
- Christina Mansfield, Co-Executive Director, CIVIC, CMansfield@endisolation.org
Audio Recordings Document Abuse in Immigration Detention
LOS ANGELES – Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) releases seven audio recordings and videos, featuring the voices of people in immigration detention across California. As video and audio recording generally is not allowed in immigration detention facilities, people in immigration detention requested that CIVIC record their voices to share with a larger audience online. Through these telephone conversations, CIVIC documented arbitrary use of solitary confinement, sexual assault, physical abuse by ICE officers, prolonged detention, retaliatory transfers, and other aspects of life inside immigration detention.
DETENTION STORIES: LIFE INSIDE CALIFORNIA’S NEW ANGEL ISLAND
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is proud to release Detention Stories: Life Inside California’s New Angel Island, a documentary film series that explores the social and cultural world inside California’s immigration detention centers through individuals who are in the best position to describe it: men and women in detention. Come learn about the history of immigration detention in California from the early 1900s to the present.
Details: Read more…
Listen: Latino Advocates in the South urge us to be “beacons of light” for unaccompanied child migrants
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.