Tell President @BarackObama to End the Merger of Criminal Justice & Immigration Systems
“I never thought after my incarceration that I would be subjected to deportation. I was incarcerated for three years [after]I was released from state custody in February 2008 and placed on parole, I was working and taking care of my responsibilities. I [received a parole violation] while regularly reporting to parole due to a false accusation. I spent 14 days on Riker’s Island just for the parole court to conclude that there was no probable cause for this violation.”
January 7, 2009 will forever be the day that Kealy (not his real name) was taken from his family. Kealy has made America his home for twenty-three of his twenty-five years. He knows nothing of his country of origin; it is a land that is foreign to him.
Kealy’s experience illustrates the human cost of the dangerous merger of the federal immigration enforcement system with state criminal justice systems. Kealy was taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after being detained in Riker’s Island jail in New York City for an alleged parole violation.
Even though Kealy was found not guilty of the parole violation, he was held at Riker’s Island jail on an immigration detainer issued by ICE and later taken to immigration detention. While Kealy has been in immigration detention, his six-year old son has been taken away from him and placed in foster care. Kealy’s son is now under the care of a child psychiatrist for the trauma of being ripped away from his family.
Please show your support for Kealy and the nearly 400,000 immigrants the Obama Administration will arrest, detain and deport this year.
Join us in endorsing an open letter drafted by the coalition of organizations listed below calling on the Obama administration to address the dangerous merger of the federal immigration enforcement system with state criminal justice systems. Your group’s endorsement is needed by Friday, September 3rd (please no individual sign-ons at this time).
As a nation, we are finally starting to acknowledge how racial disparities in the criminal justice system are creating and perpetuating racial hierarchy in the United States. However,Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) increasing reliance upon programs such as 287(g), Secure Communities and the Criminal Alien Program (CAP) to enforce federal immigration laws threatens to undo that progress. These programs have allowed arrests for minor charges, such as driving without a license and petty theft, to be the gateway to deportation, regardless of whether the criminal charge sticks, opening the door for racial profiling.
Please join us in endorsing the open letter. Please distribute this email widely.
Direct Link to Sign-on page: http://bit.ly/9U1J4b
- All of Us or None
- Border Action Network
- Bill of Rights Defense Committee
- Center for Constitutional Rights
- Center for Media Justice
- Detention Watch Network
- Families for Freedom
- Florida Immigrant Coalition
- Grassroots Leadership
- Immigrant Defense Project
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center
- Justice Strategies
- Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
- National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
- National Immigration Law Center
- Partnership for Safety and Justice
- Rights Working Group
- Sentencing Project
- VOTE Nola
- Youth Justice Coalition