In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s release of “Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2012,” [PDF] Silky Shah, Interim Executive Director of Detention Watch Network, issued the following statement:
“It is alarming to see that despite supposed support for immigration reform, the Obama administration has reached an all-time high of 477,532 immigrants detained in FY 2012 from October 1 2011 to September 30, 2012. This confirms the President’s commitment to the mass incarceration of immigrants and blithe disregard for their human rights. It is an increase of 11 percent from the previous year and greatly contributes to the record deportation total under this administration. The blame cannot solely go to DHS and the Obama Administration. By supporting the arbitrary lock-up quota, Congress has mandated that 34,000 immigrants be detained daily. Meanwhile, detaining immigrants has become a billion-dollar industry for private prisons, which house 50 percent of those in custody. This flies counter to American values of due process and fairness.”
10th National DWN Member Conference
10a Conferencia Nacional de Miembros de DWN
Thursday, January 16, 2014
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
2168 Rayburn House Office Building (Gold Room)
*light refreshments will be served*
Congress appropriates over $2 billion annually to operate an immigration detention system of jails and jail-like facilities that detains around 400,000 individuals each year. The purpose of this system is to maximize compliance with court hearings and final orders, not to punish immigrants and those seeking protection from violence and persecution abroad. The bi-partisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and experts on detention have identified recommendations for reform, with USCIRF issuing its most recent report last year. Despite some steps, the system continues to lag in reforms. As new leadership takes the helm at the Department of Homeland Security, and as Congress begins work on Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations, American leaders face key opportunities to renew this country’s commitment to protection and immigration detention reform. Read more…
via Lindsay Jenkins, UNHCR-Washington: You are invited to attend
2014 New Year Meeting with NGOs*
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
8:30 to 11:30 AM
Organization of American States
Ruben Dario Room, 8th floor
As we begin a new year, UNHCR’s Regional Office for the USA and Caribbean invites you to join us as we gather with NGO partners for an overview of plans and priorities for 2014. We will have the opportunity to introduce new staff, discuss the structure and roles of the various Regional Office units, and briefly present our 2014 advocacy plans and priorities on both global and domestic issues. We will welcome initial feedback on these priorities and look forward to opportunities to enhance our joint advocacy throughout the year. Read more…
Written by Julia Harumi Mass and Jenny Zhao, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
Audley Barrington Lyon, Jr. is currently in immigration detention while he fights deportation to Jamaica. A “U visa” is a beacon of hope for Mr. Lyon, who was an innocent bystander when he was seriously injured in shooting. A U visa—available to crime victims who cooperate with criminal investigations—would give him the opportunity to stay in the country with his U.S. citizen wife. Unfortunately, he doesn’t stand a fighting chance.
The phone system in immigration detention will not allow him to call the police to request the certification of his cooperation, a requirement he must fulfill in order to submit his visa application.
The facility where Mr. Lyon is held doesn’t allow detainees to purchase calling cards, and most government offices don’t accept collect calls. Mr. Lyon can’t afford a lawyer and is relying on his wife for help. But, calls from detention are so expensive that they are forced to coordinate by mail, which is impossibly slow. And, Mrs. Lyon cannot obtain the U visa certification for her husband because the police will only release the required information directly to crime victims or their legal representatives.
Though isolated, Mr. Lyon is not alone. Read more…
Families for Freedom demands ICE release Ivorian citizen Gabin Tonfack;
Cameroonian Embassy urged to explain document that almost caused detainee’s mistaken deportation
Families for Freedom (FFF) together with the Tonfack family, calls on Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release 26-year-old Gabin Tonfack, a citizen of the Ivory Coast detained at the York County Prison, PA since January 2013. In addition, we urge the Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon in Washington D.C. to clarify the contents of a disputed travel document used by ICE to attempt to put Mr. Tonfack on a plane to Cameroon on two separate occasions. Further, we call on the U.S. Department of State to investigate and report on the process in which ICE was able to acquire a Cameroonian travel document for a citizen of the Ivory Coast. Read more…