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My Experiences at the CCA Operated Stewart Detention Center #ShutDownStewart #ExposeandClose

January 5, 2015

By Eduardo Zuniga.  Zuniga currently resides in Mexico City.


I was shocked and appalled to read the December 9, 2014 op-ed, “Report of nightmarish detention untrue,” by Rev. Joseph Shields of Stewart in response to the article “Living Nightmare for Detained Immigrants in Georgia” by Azadeh Shahshahani.  The picture painted of this prison by Rev. Shields, an employee of the Corrections Corporation of America, bears no resemblance to my experience at Stewart.

I was detained at Stewart from January to June 2011.  I crushed my toe and twisted my leg while working in the Stewart Detention Center’s kitchen for sub-minimum wages, and both injuries were undertreated.

Read more…

Thank You from Detention Watch Network

December 23, 2014

DWN at Karnes

As the year draws to a close, we want to thank you for your support, your commitment and your passion to bring justice to immigrants in detention.

Your support has made it possible for us to:

  • Be strong national advocates for immigrants in detention
  • Launch the End the Quota Campaign and call attention to the immigration detention bed quota that effectively ensures that 34,000 immigrants are detained at any given time
  • Continue to Expose and Close the most egregious immigration detention centers
  • Fight back against the recent expansion of family detention and work to end the inhumane practice of family detentionmr2014

Learn more about our accomplishments this year in the DWN Membership Report 2014.

Your support matters! Please help DWN continue to fight in 2015 for the rights and dignity of men, women and children in the immigration detention system.

You can give today at (choose Detention Watch Network under Projects)

With heartfelt thanks,

Ana Carrion, Co-Director

P.S. Become a Sustaining Donor!
Sustaining gifts provide on-going and reliable support for our activities. To become a DWN Sustainer, please set up your account through our online donation page: Please choose Detention Watch Network under Projects.

Even just $10 a month can go a long way in helping us fulfill our goal of reducing the number of people in detention overall. Thank You!

Listen: New York Action to Demand #EndChildDetention and #EndFamilyDetention

November 21, 2014

On November 20, 2014 in New York City, several organizations held a vigil to demand the end of immigration detention for children and families.

The United Nations met on November 20 in New York to celebrate the 25th anniversary of  the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which  monitors implementation of the treaty has called for an end to child and family detention: “… The detention of a child because of their or their parents’ migration status constitutes a child rights violation and always contravenes the principle of the best interests of the child. In this light, States should expeditiously and  completely cease the detention of children on the basis of their immigration status.”

The United States and other governments continue to violate children’s rights by detaining and deporting parents and creating family detention centers. Advocates and migrant families will gather at the United Nations for a candle light vigil urging an end to detention, particularly child and family detention. This will be followed by a panel event exploring the impacts of detention on  children and needed State actions to defend their human rights.

The vigil was sponsored by the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, American Friends Service Committee ,Black Alliance for Just Immigration, DRUM – South Asian Organizing Center, First Friends of New Jersey & New York, Families for Freedom, Immigrant Defense Project, International Detention Coalition, Justice Strategies, Loretto at the UN, New Sanctuary Movement, Reformed Church of Highland Park, Terre Des Hommes, United Methodist Women, We Belong Together Campaign, & Women’s Refugee Commission for Refugee Women and Children.

DWN Slams Obama Executive Action on Deportations for Not Including Critical Detention Reforms #ExposeandClose #EndtheQuota

November 20, 2014
Thursday, 20 November 2014

Statement from Silky Shah, co-director of the Detention Watch Network, on news that President Obama has announced executive action on immigration and deportation relief for 4 million undocumented Americans:

“President Obama’s action today to delay the deportation of roughly 4 million undocumented immigrants is an encouraging step that unfortunately does not fully address the glaring human rights violations occurring under his tenure. We are in the midst of a crisis– families are being locked up in jails, the largest detention center in United States history will open by the end of the year, and more than 34,000 people are forcibly detained every night across the U.S. due to the arbitrary detention ‘bed quota.’

“Plain and simple, the U.S. government must end its reliance on immigration detention and eliminate the detention bed quota, which requires at minimum 34,000 immigrants be detained at any given time. President Obama’s executive action will do nothing to protect both documented and undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions who have already paid their debt to society, and will instead intensify the dragnet in order to earn political points and maintain the corrupt and arbitrary quota.”

For interviews with the Detention Watch Network, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at

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The Detention Watch Network works through the collective strength and diversity of its members to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

New CIVIC Project Launch: “Drawing By Themselves: Portraits of America” #EndFamilyDetention @endisolation

November 20, 2014

Via Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement:

Marcela_Main_real-300x279Today, CIVIC is releasing “Drawings By Themselves: Portraits of America,” a multimedia that provides children and their parents in U.S. immigration detention with an opportunity to share their experience through drawings and stories.  CIVIC produced the project in partnership with the International Detention Coalition, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and the Global Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children.

“Drawings By Themselves: Portraits of America” tells a story about America today.  Through their artwork, the children and parents express their humanity and claim the United States as their own, even as the Obama Administration continues to expand family detention in response to the recent arrival of Central American women and children asylum seekers fleeing violence in their home countries.

“Immigration detention is a one-size-fits-all ‘solution’ that locks up mothers, fathers, and children in unimaginable isolation,” said Christina Fialho, a California attorney and co-executive director of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC).  “Imprisoning children and families is a human rights violation.”

For More Information:

Action Alert: Nov. 20 International Day of Action Against Child and Family Detention #EndFamilyDetention #EndChildDetention

November 19, 2014
Marking the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, tomorrow, November 20th, over 20 countries will participate in the International Detention Coalition’s day of action to end the inhumane and unlawful practice of child and family detention. 
Read below on actions near you and ways to support!
small poster
Social Media
Share this image on your social media platforms!
Sample Tweet: All children have rights #EndChildDetention #CRC25 #EndFamilyDetention

  • Use #EndChildDetention and #EndFamilyDetention
  • Join IDC’s thundercalp to amplify your voice against child detention!

Educate your Community

Use DWN’s Family Detention Webpage for talking points, backgrounders, and a list of member reports and resources on family detention.
Make a Statement
*Note: Member resource*
Use DWN’s sample press release and messaging guide to craft your statement against child and family detention. Contact for more information.

DWN Members React to Artesia Closure and Opening of Dilley Facility #ExposeandClose #EndFamilyDetention

November 19, 2014

DWN members issued the following statements below (Check back for updates):

childrens picture

 A child’s letter of hope to kids inside a family detention center

ACLU of Texas: ICE to Transfer Mothers and Children to For-Profit Detention Center

American Immigration Lawyers Association: Administration’s Shell Game Doesn’t Change the Need to End Inhumane Family Detention

Grassroots Leadership: Closure of Artesia Facility Necessary, But Massive New For-Profit Detention Camp Should Not Replace It

Human Rights First: Administration Should Abandon Texas Family Detention Center Plan

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services: LIRS Statement in Response to Artesia Closure: End Family Detention

National Immigrant Justice Center: DHS to Close Controversial Artesia Family Detention Center, Open Largest Immigration Detention Center in U.S. History

Women’s Refugee Commission: Women’s Refugee Commission Responds to DHS Announcement to Move Families out of Artesia into the New Family Detention Center in Dilley, TX

Mission Presbytery Immigration Task Force:

Mission Presbytery Immigration Task Force celebrates the decision to close the Artesia detention facility. Unfortunately, this is just the first step in ending family detention in the United States. We will continue to advocate for the closing of this inhumane and abhorrent practice that runs counter to our faith and patriotism. Detaining children in the basis of their parents’ immigration status is unacceptable and never appropriate. We will continue to advocate for an end to family detention everywhere including the close of the for profit Karnes Family Detention Center in Karnes, Texas. We also believe plans to expand family detention through the construction of a new facility in Dilley, Texas are unacceptable. We pause to celebrate the closing of Artesia, but only in the context of the destructive and offensive policy of detaining mothers and their children in jail.