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Take Action Against Immigration Detention for #FathersDay, June 2-15 Across the US

June 1, 2013

fathers_day_flier-5-30-13

  • Organize a teach-in or educational event about detention in your community
  • Organize a public action, vigil or march
  • Join an action in your community
  • Watch and share a video about detention

For more information and to add your Father’s Day event to our calendar, e-mail Catalina Nieto at cnieto@detentionwatchnetwork.org

Keep Families Together, Stop Detention and Deportation

Mass detention and deportation continue to tear our families and communities apart. Every day in the U.S. 1,500 fathers, mothers, children and friends are taken away and locked-up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Detention and deportation has an unimaginable impact in all of our communities. This week alone, 8,500 members of our communities will be separated from their families. At this rate, over 400,000 immigrants will be detained and deported this year, having a devastating impact on entire communities and in the nation as a whole.  Due to Congress’ and President Obama’s inhumane and unfair detention and deportation policies, children across the U.S. will spend this Father’s Day without their fathers.

But all across the U.S. people are standing up to say: Ya Basta! Communities are organizing to get fathers released from detention and are marching in the streets to demand an immigration bill that doesn’t leave anyone behind. As Detention Watch Network, we want to make sure that we continue to be on the side of all of those in detention and stand alongside their families and communities, throughout the immigration reform debate and beyond. This Father’s Day weekend, we are calling on the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration to Keep Families Together, Stop Detention and Deportation now!

Problem

The U.S. government is systematically tearing immigrant families apart. The U.S. Congress enacted mandatory detention laws in 1996 that require the indiscriminate detention of immigrants, funneling fathers, sons, and brothers into more than 250 detention centers and jails across the country. Mandatory detention laws are responsible for approximately 70% of the people in immigrant detention centers today. The U.S. Congress has appropriated $2 billion dollars this year to systematically lock-up and deport immigrants, while mandating that DHS and ICE keep 34,000 detention beds filled every day. This means that this Father’s Day, 34,000 immigrants will be in detention. Many of those are fathers and the sole bread winners in their families. Over 200,000 parents of U.S. citizen children have been deported since 2010. Many children end up in the foster care system due to the detention and deportation of their fathers, mothers and guardians. The U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration are systematically separating fathers from their children and families every day, having a devastating impact on all of our communities.

Demands

It doesn’t have to be like this. The immigrant detention system is currently designed to hold immigrants in jail in order to ensure they attend their administrative court proceedings. But the truth is most immigrants want to attend these hearings so they can resolve their status. Detaining and deporting 400,000 immigrants a year is inhumane and should not be regarded as a solution to our broken immigration system. For this reason, Congress and President Obama should immediately:

  • Stop detaining immigrants, so that they can stay with their families and communities while they determine their status.
  • Repeal mandatory detention. Everyone deserves due process and the right to a hearing with a judge. Until mandatory detention is repealed, the government should use non-punitive alternatives to detention for those that are required to be under ICE custody.
  • End the detention bed mandate, which requires ICE to detain 34,000 immigrants daily. The mandate, which is essentially a quota system, drives ICE to target deportable individuals in order to funnel them into detention beds that must be filled.
  • Detention and deportation are tightly linked, until immigration reform is enacted, President Obama should put a moratorium on deportations.

Join a Father’s Day Action in Your Community

Watch and Share a video about detention

More videos coming soon

Other resources about detention

Overview of Dignity Not Detention Campaign

In February 2010 the DWN launched its first organizing campaign, “Dignity, Not Detention: Preserving Human Rights and Restoring Justice,” which called for the restoration of fundamental human rights and due process in the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system. In its first year, the campaign supported organizing at local sites in Arizona, Texas and Georgia while engaging members in complementary education and advocacy efforts at the national level.

Today, the campaign has developed into a national organizing strategy focusing on Ending Detention and DeportationThe campaign team is composed of DWN member groups in New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Florida and California.

For more information on the current campaign, our demands and how you can get involved, please contact Catalina Nieto at: cnieto@detentionwatchnetwork.org

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