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Watch via @BAJItweet: The Real Crime – Mass Criminalization of Our Communities

July 10, 2014

via Opal Tometi, BAJI

Please help us share BAJI’s new video, #TheRealCrime. It’s only 4 mins long and we’d love your help to ensure that tens of thousands (if not millions) of people hear this important message that moves us beyond the status quo, and re-frames the issue of mass criminalization (i.e. mass incarceration, immigrant detention and deportation).

In a day and age where divide and conquer is the norm, and the folks aim to pit citizens against non-citizens, African Americans against migrants, and those with a criminal record against those without, it’s our duty to stand in unity against those who ultimately aim to keep our communities under-resourced and oppressed.

We know that we truly are stronger together, so please help us share the video and build beyond #TheRealCrime!

7/7 in #Adelanto: Vigil at Adelanto Detention Center to Launch #DefundDetention Campaign

July 4, 2014




  • Christina Fialho, CIVIC, | 3852124842
  • Victoria Mena, Defund Detention Campaign Coordinator, | 3525621386
  • Luis Nolasco, Justice For Immigrants Coalition Organizer | | 9097237409

Vigil to STOP Expansion and Support Migrant Children Adelanto

Community members, advocates, formerly detained immigrants and families devastated by our nation’s immigration laws come together to launch a campaign to Defund Detention, and call for a STOP to the Adelanto expansion. Our communities need healing, not more detention!

Please join the vigil at the Adelanto Detention Center (10400 Rancho Rd, Adelanto, CA 92301) on Monday, July 7, 2014, from 12:30-2:00pm. The vigil will be held while U.S. Representative Judy Chu tours the Adelanto Detention Center. Following her tour, Representative Chu will join the community to report on her experiences inside the facility.

The Defund Detention Campaign is a response to the continued investment in immigrant detention, specifically the proposed expansion of the Adelanto Detention Center. The Adelanto Detention Center already has the capacity to hold 1,300 immigrant men in detention each day. The proposed 640 additional beds will make the Adelanto Detention Center the largest immigration detention center in the country, with 1,940 beds and will then include a women’s housing unit. Read more…

20 Members of Congress Call for an End to the Indefinite Detention of Immigrants

July 2, 2014

via the Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard:

Seal_of_the_United_States_House_of_RepresentativesMembers urge the Department of Homeland Security to reform America’s unfair and inhumane detention system

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21), Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) and Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) led a group of 20 Members of Congress in writing a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, calling on him to reform his Department’s flawed immigration detention policies.  The letter follows President Obama’s statement earlier this week that he intended to use his executive authority to address the worst aspects of America’s broken immigration system. Each year, almost 400,000 immigrants are locked up at U.S. detention facilities, at an annual cost of more than $2 billion to the American taxpayer.  Disturbingly, a series of abuses, including beatings, sexual assaults, and management cover-ups, has been reported at these facilities. In their letter to Secretary Johnson, the Members decried the fact that immigrants may currently be held indefinitely in our nation’s detention centers without any opportunity to appear before a judge.  To correct this troubling lack of due process, they urged Secretary Johnson to provide all immigrants in prolonged detention with a bond hearing within six months of their detention. They also encouraged the Secretary to take steps to allow for greater use of proven Alternatives to Detention (ATD).  These measures, including ankle bracelets and telephonic monitoring, offer a more humane, cost-effective option to keep track of vulnerable immigrants.  Finally, in an effort to prevent future abuses, the Members called on the Department of Homeland Security to fully implement its most recent detention standards—the 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS)—at all facilities where immigrants are held. The full text of the Members’ letter is below.

It’s time to bring our unjust and inhumane approach to immigration enforcement back into line with our American values,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. “This includes ensuring that everyone in our government’s custody has access to basic due process.  Indefinite detention is contrary to our nation’s bedrock legal principles, and it should no longer be a feature of our immigration system.  I urge President Obama and Secretary Johnson to make immigration detention reform a priority as they consider badly needed changes to the ways we enforce our immigration laws.

Our broken detention system is coming at a high cost both to taxpayers and families who are needlessly being ripped apart,” said Congressman Bill Foster. “Every year, we spend over $2 billion detaining immigrants when we could be making better use of alternatives to detention that cost anywhere from 70 cents to $17 a day. I am pleased that President Obama will be taking executive action on immigration, and I strongly encourage him to reform our broken detention system.

After visiting the Northwest Detention Center in my district to speak with detainees on hunger strike, it became clear to me that standards surrounding our detention practices need to be fixed,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “Many detainees are fathers or mothers that have committed no crime, yet are being held in unacceptable conditions for a prolonged period of time.  With House Republican’s refusing to bring up comprehensive immigration reform, we need to act now.  I urge President Obama and Secretary Jeh Johnson to encourage Alternatives to Detention and reform our detention system.

Read more…

Advocates Denounce @BarackObama for Seeking $2 Billion to Detain & Deport Women & Children on the Border

July 1, 2014

(See DWN member statement’s below)

Embedded Image by Jennifer Whitney for The New York Times: “A Border Patrol agent, with Alejandro, 8, who traveled by himself across the Rio Grande.”

Detention Watch Network Says White House’s Renewed Policy of Family Detention and Deportation Puts Women and Children at Risk for Political Points on Immigration

In reaction to this weekend’s announcement that the Obama Administration would seek $2 billion from Congress to detain and deport women and children arriving at the border,  member organizations issue the following statements (List in formation: Check back for updates)

Silky Shah, interim executive director of the Detention Watch Network issued the following statement:

With this weekend’s announcement that President Obama will seek more than $2,000,000,000 from Congress to detain and expedite deportations for women and children on the border-  President Obama made clear that he is fully embracing his role as Deporter-in-Chief – detaining more than 478,000 people in 2012 alone. The US has the resources and ability to provide refuge for the families fleeing Central America. Much smaller countries with a fraction of the resources (e.g. Lebanon, Jordan) provide refugee assistance to twice as many migrants as the US. Rather than considering additional funding for expanding detention and increasing deportations Congress should shift funds away from DHS and ICE and provide more resources for refugee assistance for families arriving at the border. Following the announcement late last week that the Obama Administration will be reopening family detention facilities on the border, we are deeply disappointed in the White House’s willingness to sacrifice women and children for political cover in the national immigration debate.

7/9 in #DC: Immigrant Children, Youth & Parents Tell Their Stories of Family Separations

June 30, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 9.28.41 AMEDT

in cooperation with Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Rush Holt

invite you to a conversation with immigrant families

“Since My Mother Left”:

Immigrant Children, Youth and Parents Tell Their Stories of Family Separations and Share Dreams of a Better Tomorrow

Kennedy Room, 325 Russell Senate Office Building,

Wednesday July 9th, 2014

11:45 am – 12:45pm

**Light refreshments will be served**

The United States promotes family values, yet these ideals are undermined in the current immigration enforcement system that leaves children without the loving care of their parents. In FY12 over 470,000 immigrants were removed from their families and communities and funneled into the detention and deportation pipeline. Deportations without due process and policies such as the “bed quota”–which makes ICE’s funding contigent on requirement to maintain 34,000 immigrant detention beds each day–contribute to the record-breaking number of families that are torn apart.

  • According to US Customs and Immigration Enforcement, over 200,000 parents of U.S. citizen children were deported during 2010-2012, leaving tens of thousands of children without at least one of their parents.
  • Every day more than 1,000 immigrants are deported, pulled from their families and communities.
  • Nearly 60% of detention beds are operated by private prison companies that profit from the incarceration of immigrants.

On July 9th, immigrant children and families, who have traveled from New Jersey to Washington, DC, will share how current immigration policies impact their lives and what policies will help them fully realize their dreams.

Speakers include:

  • Jamil Sunsan – a 12 year-old U.S. citizen whose parents & sister were deported to Honduras
  • Kady Cisse – a 23 year- old U.S. citizen whose mother was deported to Cote D’Ivoire in 2003
  • Javier Hernandez – a 17 year-old whose father was deported on June 5, 2014

Please RSVP at or contact Lia Lindsey at

Make sure your members of Congress hear their voices. Contact your representatives today—ask them to be there to listen on July 9.


Detention Watch Network Slams @BarackObama on the Opening of Artesia Family Detention Center

June 27, 2014

(See statements from DWN member organizations below)

artesia-border-patrol-centerDWN Says WH’s Renewed Policy of Family Detention and Deportation Puts Women and Children at Risk for Political Points on Immigration

Statement from Silky Shah, interim executive director of the Detention Watch Network,  on today’s announcement that the Obama Administration has begun incarcerating families at the Artesia Detention Center, a former law enforcement training facility in New Mexico.

Today, with the announcement of the opening of the Artesia Family Detention Center and plans to expedite deportations for women and children –  President Obama made clear that he is fully embracing his role as Deporter-in-Chief and as the president with the highest rate of immigrant detention in American history, with 478,000 detained in FY 2012 alone.  The White House’s willingness to sacrifice women and children for political cover in the national immigration debate is a new low.   We urge the Administration to immediately halt the renewed use of family detention, a policy that largely ended in 2009 after the decision to stop the detention of children at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Texas.  Families were released from Hutto due to outrage from advocates and policymakers citing abusive and unsanitary conditions, including children wearing prison uniforms, being held in prison cells with open-air toilets, and being threatened with alarming disciplinary tactics, including threats of separation from their parents if they cried too much or played too loudly.  Family detention is inhumane and abusive and should be stopped immediately.

Statements from DWN member organizations:

Read Archived Tweets from #LGBTQ #EndtheQuota Twitter Chat

June 27, 2014


Click here to read the Storify of tweets from the June 27 Twitter chat.