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

DWN Blog - November 21, 2014 - 10:58

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

DWN Blog - November 20, 2014 - 21:39
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 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 brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

# # # # #

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

DWN Blog - November 20, 2014 - 15:42

Via Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement:

Today, 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: http://www.endisolation.org/child-detention-stories/


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

DWN Blog - November 19, 2014 - 16:26
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! 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 cperez@detentionwatchnetwork.org for more information. CALL IN DAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY:

Sample Script: My name is _____ calling from _____.  As a constituent, I oppose the expansion of immigrant family detention. Families held in DHS custody are seeking protection from violence, trafficking, and domestic violence. Children require specialized medical, educational, and legal support that detention facilities cannot provide. The President and DHS are seeking $879 million in funding for 6,350 additional family detention beds. The Obama administration has not waited for this funding and has already expanded family detention by 1200% between June-August 2014. I hope you will publicly speak out against family detention and contact the White House to express your alarm over this practice.  I encourage you to put an end to the inhumane practice of family detention by closing the Karnes Facility in Texas and by stoping further expansion of the Dilley Facility. NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Join American Friends Service Committee for a candlelight vigil to demand an end to child and family detention! Participating DWN members: Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, Women’s Refugee Commission, United Methodist Women, Immigrant Defense Project, Families for Freedom, First Friends of New Jersey and New York. Date: November 20, 2014
Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm Location: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, E 47th St., New York, New York 10017  For More Information: yyue@afsc.org e2ma-content-block”> Community Initiatives for Visting Immigrants in Confinement is launching a new project, Drawings By Themselves: Portraits of America, which provides children and parents in immigration detention with a platform to share their artwork and their stories. The project launch is set to take place in partnership with IDC’s international day of action. Watch the video on the campaign to end child detention. Date: November 20, 2014 Time: 6:00 pm Location: Church Center for the United Nations, 777 1st Avenue, E 44th St., New York, NY 10017 ARTESIA, NEW MEXICO The ACLU-NM Regional Center for Border Rights, Somos un Pueblo Unido, the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops,  the American Immigration Lawyers Association, along with residents from Southeast New Mexico, will hold a candlelight vigil in Artesia, NM, outside the FLETC detention center in protest of the ongoing practice of family detention in the United States. Date: November 20, 2014 Time: 6:00 pm Location: Outside the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, 1300 W. Richey Ave., Artesia, NM AUSTIN, TEXAS: Join Grassroots Leadership and Texans United for Families for the world premiere of “No Sanctuary: The Big Business of Family Detention,” by Austin filmaker, Matt Gossage. Reserve your seat now!
Date: November 21, 2014
Location: Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St, Austin, TX Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm For More Information: tuff@grassrootsleadership.org

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

DWN Blog - November 19, 2014 - 14:13

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

 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.


DWN Slams ICE Plans to Open New Family Detention Facility in Dilley TX, Applaud Closing of #Artesia #EndFamilyDetention

DWN Blog - November 18, 2014 - 14:59

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

CONTACT:

Brett Abrams  : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Statement from Silky Shah, co-director of the Detention Watch Network, on the announcement that ICE plans to transfer women and children currently held at the Artesia Family Detention Center to Dilley in December.

“News that the White House plans to double-down on their failed, inhumane, and alarmingly punitive response to refugee families arriving at the border by opening a new facility to incarcerate families and children in Dilley, Texas is deeply disappointing.

While we have long advocated for the closure of the Artesia Detention Facility, ICE’s decision to transition detained women and children to a new facility in Dilley completely misses the issue at hand. Family detention is an abusive, and inhumane practice that erodes family bonds, and undermines children’s well being.   

Additionally troubling is the fact that ICE will contract with the notorious Corrections Corporation of America, a company known for its human rights violations at countless facilities, including the T. Don Hutto Detention Center, which stopped holding families after reports of the appalling treatment and conditions for children in custody.

It is long past time that the Obama Administration abandon the abusive, and inhumane policy of detaining immigrant women and children and that starts with closing Artesia, and cancelling plans for their new 2400-bed facility in Dilley. ”

Earlier this year, the Detention Watch Network released a report that documented the skyrocketing use of family detention in the United States and outlined the specific conditions on-the-ground at the Artesia Family Detention Facility in New Mexico.

VIEW THE REPORT HERE:  http://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/detentionwatchnetwork.org/files/expose_close_-_artesia_family_residential_center_nm_2014.pdf

For more information, or for interviews, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

# # #

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 Report via @Grassroots_News and @Just_Strategies on #FamilyDetention

DWN Blog - October 8, 2014 - 13:57

New Report from DWN members, Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies

For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families

A new report, For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families, authored by Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies details the long history of abuse and misconduct in facilities owned by private prison companies and the need to end family detention now. Excerpt from the report:

The GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America have exceptionally troubled histories when operating facilities detaining children, immigrants, and families. The unprecedented move to expand immigrant family detention – largely relying on these same for-profit prison corporations – raises many concerns about ICE’s policies related to asylum-seeking families.

Read the full report here.


DWN Members Slam ICE Plans to Open New #FamilyDetention Facility in Dilley, TX #theyarechildren

DWN Blog - September 24, 2014 - 13:56

(see DWN and member statements below)

Grassroots Leadership action against family detention at T. Don Hutto Detention Center 

Advocates denounce yesterday’s announcement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as the Obama Administration plans to continue expanding family detention with the opening of what will be the nation’s largest immigrant detention facility in Dilley, Texas.  Member organizations issued the following statements (List in formation: Check back for updates):

Statement from Silky Shah, co-director of the Detention Watch Network, on the announcement that ICE plans to open a new facility to detain immigrant families and children in Dilley, Texas:

News that the White House plans to double-down on their failed, inhumane, and alarmingly punitive response to refugee families arriving at the border by opening a new facility to incarcerate immigrant families and children in Dilley, Texas is deeply disappointing. Additionally troubling is the fact that ICE will contract with the notorious Corrections Corporation of America, a company known for its human rights violations at countless facilities, including the T. Don Hutto Detention Center, which stopped holding families after reports of the appalling treatment and conditions for children in custody.

 

It is long past time that the Obama Administration abandon the abusive, and inhumane practice of family detention that erodes family bonds, and undermines children’s wellbeing.  That starts with closing Artesia, and cancelling plans for their new 2400-bed facility in Dilley. 

Earlier this week, the Detention Watch Network released a report that documented the skyrocketing use of family detention in the United States and outlined the specific conditions on-the-ground at the Artesia Family Detention Facility in New Mexico.


VIEW THE REPORT HERE: http://bit.ly/exposecloseartesia


New #ExposeandClose Report Documents Conditions at the #Artesia Detention Facility in NM

DWN Blog - September 23, 2014 - 14:17

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, 23 September 2014

CONTACT: Silky Shah :sshah@detentionwatchnetwork.org

New “Expose and Close” Report Documents Conditions at the Artesia Detention Facility in NM as Family Detentions in the U.S. Skyrocket

VIEW THE REPORT

Rep. Judy Chu Joins Advocates and Experts Urging President Obama to Immediately Close the Artesia Family Detention Center in New Mexico

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, September 23rd, Detention Watch Network released the findings of their latest “Expose and Close” report on the Artesia Family Residential Center – documenting the conditions facing families currently detained in Artesia, New Mexico.

The report outlines how conditions at the Artesia Family Residential Center, specifically the barriers to legal access, broken asylum process, interference with telephone communications, deficient medical and mental health care, lack of childcare and educational services, and the inadequate conditions for good health and wellness create dangerous conditions that undermine the well being of women and children under U.S. custody.  Moreover, the report documents the dramatic rise in the use of family detention by U.S. officials – skyrocketing more than 1200% in the last 3 months alone.

VIEW THE REPORT

“Although the White House has framed the situation at the border as a humanitarian crisis, its response to refugee families arriving at the border is inhumane, alarmingly punitive, and based on aggressively expanding the government’s model of incarcerating and deporting immigrants at record rates,” said Madhuri Grewal, Policy Counsel at Detention Watch Network. “We are disappointed that on the day we release this report, ICE is publicly announcing its plans to incarcerate thousands more women and children in the coming months. DWN calls on the Obama administration to close Artesia and all family detention facilities. The administration should also cancel plans for a new 2,400-bed family detention center in Dilley, TX and instead divert funds toward providing refugee support to the families and children arriving at the border.”

“The administration’s increased use of family detention is extremely concerning. These women and children have fled the Northern Triangle region, some of the most dangerous countries in the world, to seek protection in the U.S.—and instead they face prolonged detention while they fight their asylum claims. Let’s be clear, there is no way to detain families humanely,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA). “As this important report details, these facilities detain a particularly vulnerable population with poor access to mental health care and legal counsel. I am particularly alarmed by children and their mothers – many of whom are victims of domestic violence – being held in prison-like conditions that betray our country’s role as a leader in refugee protections.”

“These families have traveled thousands of hard, dangerous miles to escape the violence that made their homes unlivable,“ added Vicki B. Gaubeca, director of the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights. “Instead of receiving them with compassion, we have placed them in a remote location without due process protections and in inadequate living conditions. But no amount of fixing the conditions will prevent the long-term psychological effects of imprisonment on these women and children. Family detention is shameful and wrong and the government should shut these facilities down immediately, particularly when effective, less expensive and more humane alternatives exist.”

“Southeastern New Mexico immigrant families face the challenges of anti-immigrant policies and the continuous attacks from anti-immigrant politicians such as Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM). The opening of the family detention center is yet another attack to immigrant workers and their families,” said Marina Piña, Organizer at Somos Un Pueblo Unido. “We call on all our elected officials to immediately halt the expansion of family detention and child incarceration. It is never humane to jail a child because of her or his immigration status. If our government is willing to do this to the most defenseless and vulnerable among us, purely for political convenience, then what can the rest of us hope for?”

For more information, or for interviews, please contact Silky Shah by email at sshah@detentionwatchnetwork.org.

# # # # #

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.


Use These Resources to Amplify the Broadcast of “Who is @DayaniCristal?” in Your Community

DWN Blog - September 4, 2014 - 19:59

The Sundance award-winning documentary film, Who is Dayani Cristal?, is being broadcast nationwide on Univision on Saturday, September 6th, 2014 and on Fusion September 7 and 8. To support advocates’ work in migrants’ rights and immigration policy, which this film explores, the production team developed a number of social impact tools which available for free for use.

Who is Dayani Cristal?, is an intimate examination of the journey of one migrant who perished in the Arizona desert, far from his native Honduras, with no real identification but a name tattooed over his heart. The documentary was produced by and features Gael Garcia Bernal. The film weaves together real-life attempts to identify the migrant’s body with Bernal’s retracing of the journey he would have most likely taken through the “corridor del muerte” to reach the U.S. with hopes of improving the lives of his family.

Employing a series of digital tools with interactive features, including the ability of migrants to post their own border stories on the project’s website, Who Is Dayani Cristal drives audiences moved by the story to delve deeper into and take action on the issues that drive migrants to brave perilous conditions in order to reach the U.S. The team has already begun having impact with the campaign and tools. We believe you can extend the impact of our tools and that we can further support the movement for humanitarian treatment of migrants and humane policy by offering the tools to you for your own work.

Below are several resources for viewers and facilitators to use in classroom syllabi, community screenings or small group discussions:

EBOOK

Explore the complex issues surrounding migration in greater detail with the Who is Dayani Cristal interactive ebook (via iTunes or PDF). This interactive book extends the story to the stories of many, and to analysis of the systemic issues that impact their journeys, providing readers a deeper investigation into policy frameworks that affect the lives of migrants and border communities such as those found in “Who Is Dayani Cristal?”

ACTION TOOLKIT

This toolkit is designed to give you the tools to join our campaign. Each of the toolkit’s modules stands on its own and can be used when implementing a specific type of event for various audiences. See PDF document under Screenings on website.

  • Plan a theatrical or community screening
  • Bring the film to your local theater by planning a “theatrical-on-demand” Gathr® screening
  • Facilitate a discussion or post-screening Q+A with: General audiences, Faith-based audiences, Academic audiences, Advocacy groups, Mobilize your audiences to take action
LEARN on the “Who is Dayani Cristal?” website

which includes sections on:

The Right Not to Migrate

Most migrants from Central America leave their homes because they simply have no other choice. There is little opportunity in their home countries for income or economic security, limited access to basic services or education, little hope of advancement – and as Dr. Bruce Anderson says, “we are dangling the carrot” of jobs in the US. A cross-border, cross-sector effort to work towards economic sustainability and access to services and education is essential to providing the viable choices to would-be migrants to stay home if they so choose.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Photos from the project
  • Essay: Why do people leave their homes and travel north to the US-Mexico border? by Marion Bronfman, Ford Foundation
A Humane Border

The US-Mexico border has become one of the most dangerous places on earth for people traveling on foot. At this point, it is at its most militarized in US history. The need for a secure border has become a condition of comprehensive immigration policy. The need for the US to adhere to a border policy that doesn’t result in avoidable human deaths is dire.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: A Humane Border by Dan Martinez, George Washington University
Repatriating the Dead

Migrants crossing over the US-Mexico border by foot often carry no identification or carry false papers to avoid endangering themselves or their families. If a migrant dies and is found on the US side of the border, it becomes the responsibility of border counties to investigate identity.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: Naming the Dead by Robin Reineke, the Colibri Center for Human Rights
Detention and Deportation

Under current US policy, the number of immigrant detentions and deportations has skyrocketed. Migrants who are apprehended are detained without representation or contact with their families, sometimes for weeks and months.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: 2:00 A.M. in Matamoros: Dangerous Deportations along the US-Mexico Border by Maureen Meyer, WOLA
Labor demand in the US

“They steal our jobs.” The story about migrants and immigrants we often tell ourselves is that immigration leads to job loss for Americans. But political and economic experts, regardless of ideological leanings, have acknowledged this is simply a myth.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: Coming to America: Land of Opportunity and Obstacles by the National Council of La Raza
Safety through Mexico

The journey from Central America through Mexico to the US border is the most dangerous foot journey in the world. Migrants can fall prey to illness, dehydration, exposure, injury, accident, coyotes, drug cartels, smugglers, traffickers, and violence.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: Safety through Mexico by Padre Alejandro Solalinde, Ixtepec Shelter
BORDER STORIES

Dayani Cristal’s story is not the only one. Share your own stories, thoughts, and prayers. We’ll attach them to the US–Mexico border wall.

TAKE ACTION There are people working to support migrants at every stage of their journey. They need your help. THE MISSING MIGRANT PROJECT

This page will allow you to file a missing person report with the Colibrí Center for Human Rights. All information collected in this form is confidential and all precaution will be taken to maintain your privacy. Colibrí will not release names, phone numbers, or identifiable information to outside agencies without your permission. The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is not a law enforcement entity. We collect information only to assist families searching for a missing loved one.


via @Grassroots_News: Nayely & Sara are free from family detention in Texas!

DWN Blog - September 4, 2014 - 05:24

via Bob Libal
We are overjoyed to share this breaking news with you. Your calls made a difference! Sara and Nayely Beltran just walked out of the Karnes County family detention center moments ago. They were greeted by their attorney, Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch, and are now on their way to a warm and welcoming community in Austin. Making this news even more joyous is that Nayely has a doctor’s appointment to begin treatment of her brain tumor at Dell Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.

Why was Neyely in detention in the first place?

The Karnes family detention center is where ICE is holding more than 500 women and children from Central America. The reports from inside are not good. Karnes is also run by a private prison company, the GEO Group, which has a long rap sheet of abuse and neglect. GEO makes $160 every day for every woman and child they detain.

Join us!

Grassroots Leadership and Texans United for Families won’t stop until the shameful practice of family detention is ended. Join us at the rally to stop family detention at the Karnes family detention center on October 11. Click here to help make the event a success by donating to Grassroots Leadership, a registered 501(c)(3). All donations are tax-deductible


Sept 2nd – 9th in #Tacoma: Week of Action at the Northwest Detention Center

DWN Blog - August 31, 2014 - 18:24

via Maru Mora Villalpando, Latino Advocacy

Español abajo Come to the Northwest Detention Center September 2-9 1623 E J Street Tacoma, WA Support Veronica Noriega’s week-long fast and sustained presence at the Northwest Detention Center. Veronica is fasting and staying out side the detention center day and night for the week leading up to her partner Ramon Mendoza Pascual’s deportation hearing on Sept. 9.  Veronica is taking this action to support her husband and the efforts of the detainees inside, and call to an end to the unjust deportation system that separates families and breaks apart communities. Let’s join her!  

**WAYS TO GET INVOLVED**
  • Come any of the days starting Tuesday Sept 2nd, to Tuesday Sept 9th. Bring your family, your friends, your co-workers! Check out our program/schedule below and be on the look out for updates.  Bring flowers, especially on Sept 2nd!!
  • Come to Ramon’s hearing (Sept 9th 1-4:30pm, NWDC)
  • Spread the word! https://www.facebook.com/events/1484788798429513
**SCHEDULE OF THE WEEK**  (subject to changes/updates) TUESDAY SEPT 2 -Interfaith Blessing of the Fast of Veronica Noriega, followed by a march to the Northwest Detention Center Sept 2nd 10-11am First United Methodist Church 621 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma. -Set up at the NWDC  (1623 E J St, Tacoma, WA) at 1pm -8pm Dusk vigil and flowers. WEDNESDAY SEPT 3 – SUNDAY 7 -Ongoing support of Veronica Noriega’s hunger strike.  People are welcome to visit, be present.  More programming coming soon – look out for workshops and events! SATURDAY SEPT 6 -  3pm – Families Day -Families Day: family members and loved ones of those detained and deported will share their stories of dealing with the deportation machine. MONDAY SEPT 8 -Cipriano’s hearing More details soon TUESDAY SEPT 9 -Closing of Veronica’s fast and presence 12noon, NWDC -Ramon’s Deportation Hearing 1-4:30pm, NWDC -5pm Press Conference _______________________________________________________ Venga al Centro de Detención del Noroeste Septiembre 2-9 1623 E J Street Tacoma, WA Venga durante la semana del 2 al 9 de septiembre para apoyar a Verónica Noriega en su semana de huelga de hambre y presencia constante afuera del Centro de Detención del Noroeste -Northwest Detention Center (NWDC por sus siglas en ingles)- en preparación para la audiencia de deportación en contra de su esposo Ramón Mendoza Pascual el 9 de septiembre. Verónica está hacienda esto para apoyar a su esposo y los esfuerzos de los detenidos allá adentro y pedir un alto al sistema injusto de deportación que separa familias y rompe las comunidades. ¡Unámonos a su lucha! **COMO PUEDE PARTICIPAR**
  • Venga cualquier día empezando el martes 2 de al martes 9 de septiembre. ¡Traiga a su familia, amigos, sus compañeros de trabajo!
  • Venga a la audiencia de Ramón (9 de septiembre 1-4:30pm, en NWDC)
  • ¡Pase la voz! https://www.facebook.com/events/306016562911466/
Este es nuestro programa /calendario de actividades **CALENDARIO DE ACTIVIDADES DE LA SEMANA** (sujeto a cambios)   MARTES 2 SEPT -Bendición Multi-fé para la huelga de hambre para Verónica Noriega, seguido de una marcha al Centro de Detención de Tacoma 2 de septiembre 10-11am First United Methodist Church 621 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma. -Poner campamento afuera del NWDC 2 de septiembre 1pm -Vigilia al atardecer y flores 2 de septiembre 8pm   MIÉRECOLES 3 – DOMINGO 7 -Apoyar a Verónica Noriega en su semana de huelga de hambre y presencia constante. SABADO 6 DE SEPT -Día de las familias: parientes, familias y seres queridos de los detenidos y deportados 3-6pm LUNES 8 DE SEPT -Audiencia de deportación en contra de Cipriano Ríos Alegría Más detalles pronto MARTES 9 DE SEPT -Cierre de la huelga de hambre de Verónica y presencia constante 12 del medio día, NWDC -Audiencia de Deportación en contra de Ramón 1-4:30pm, NWDC -5pm Conferencia de Prensa


California’s First County Public Defender Immigration Representation Project

DWN Blog - August 20, 2014 - 19:32

via Raha Jorjani:

Raha Jorjani. Photo by ©Kathy Anderson via ABA Journal

I write to share with you that as of January 2014, I joined the Alameda County Office of the Public Defender in order to create and direct the first county Public Defender immigration representation project on the west coast and in the State of California.

As part of this project, I am able to represent a limited number of public defender clients in their subsequent removal proceedings. This means that the public defender will not only make appearances in criminal court, but also in immigration court – with a focus on detained cases

Our first such appearance in San Francisco immigration court turned heads! I am excited that this move signals a shift in the way we view indigent defense in California. Our hope is that with the launch of this groundbreaking model, other county public defender offices will develop similar programs and our understanding is that this has already begun to happen.

It was an extremely difficult decision to leave the Immigration Law Clinic of the UC Davis School of Law. One could not ask for more supportive, brilliant, and inspiring colleagues to work with. I am comforted by the fact that I will continue to be able to collaborate with those colleagues in this new position.

Part of my mandate here is to provide technical assistance to other PD offices who would like to explore adding a similar position so please feel free to mention this news to local PD offices you believe may be interested. My new contact info is below.

We are moving California slowly to try and catch up with New York City! Thank you to all of the amazing advocates who pushed right to counsel in NYC and gave us a viable model to point to!

Here’s the official press release from Alameda County Public Defender

California’s First County Public Defender Immigration Representation Project

On January 21, 2014, the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office made history by launching California’s first public defender immigration representation project. The office hired Raha Jorjani as a full-time immigration attorney and “crimmigration” expert. Since 2009, she had worked part-time consulting public defenders in the Office regarding immigration consequences of criminal convictions. In her new position, she now also represents noncitizen clients in subsequent removal proceedings and helps them obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Since her January hiring, she has followed a number of clients into immigration court.

This marks the first time that a county public defender’s office in California has appeared on behalf of clients in immigration court. Ms. Jorjani, a nationally recognized expert in the intersection of criminal and immigration law, had proposed her new position as a direct response to the lack of procedural safeguards available to noncitizens in removal proceedings, including the lack of a right to appointed counsel for indigent noncitizens facing deportation. What happens in criminal court can have disproportionately punitive consequences in immigration court. Her hiring recognizes that effective representation does not end at the courthouse doors.

Ms. Jorjani has nearly a decade of experience in representing noncitizens detained by the Department of Homeland Security and facing deportation. Before joining the Office full-time in January, she spent nearly 7 years as a Clinical Professor at the UC Davis School of Law, Immigration Law Clinic. She also has extensive experience — both locally and nationally — in training members of the criminal defense and immigration bars regarding immigration consequences of convictions. Along with directing the Office’s immigration representation project, she carries an active caseload. She also consults with other Alameda County offices, including the Sheriff and the District Attorney, to develop policies to help them navigate the increasing complex intersection of law enforcement and immigration.

The Alameda County Office of the Public Defender sees Ms. Jorjani’s hiring as an important shift toward a more holistic model of indigent defense, and invites other public defenders to follow in its footsteps. To that end, the Office is available to provide guidance and technical assistance to California defender offices who are interested in exploring similar programs. For more information, please contact Ms. Jorjani, Immigration Defense Attorney, at (510) 268-7401.


Request for Proposals for NY Immigrant Family Unity Project at Batavia Immigration Court

DWN Blog - August 20, 2014 - 18:10

via Center on Immigration and Justice, Vera Institute of Justice:

On August 15, 2014, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to provide deportation defense services at the Batavia Immigration Court in Western New York. The RFP is to identify a legal services provider to conduct a pilot program of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) at Batavia.  NYIFUP, the nation’s first government-funded universal-representation program for detained immigrants, conducted a 190-case pilot last year at the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York City. NYIFUP has now been fully funded at Varick Street by the City of New York and has also expanded to serve detained New York City residents whose deportation cases are being heard in the Newark and Elizabeth (NJ) immigration courts.

The funding for this pilot comes from the New York State Assembly and will be administered through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services; $80,000 is available pursuant to this RFP. The contract term will begin in or about November 2014 and must end not later than March 31, 2015.

The Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, The Center for Popular Democracy, Make the Road New York, the Immigration Justice Clinic of Cardozo Law School, and Vera have been functioning as a collaborative to seek funding for NYIFUP. The five organizations, together with other supporters, are continuing efforts to seek additional New York State funding which would allow NYIFUP to provide representation at the Batavia Immigration Court to all otherwise-unrepresented, financially eligible respondents. NYIFUP is an outgrowth of the work of the Study Group on Immigrant Representation initiated by Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann.

Applicants may be existing law firms or nonprofit legal service organizations, or may be consortia of nonprofit organizations and/or private law firms that join together to bid for the contract.

Proposals are due September 19, 2014. There is a pre-proposal conference on August 27, 2014.

The RFP may be obtained by contacting NYIFUP@vera.org, using the subject “Request for RFP.” Questions should be addressed to the same address.


Announcing Our New Co-Directors & New Shared Leadership Model

DWN Blog - August 20, 2014 - 15:03

via Amanda Luggg, DWN Steering Committee Chair, Director of Advocacy, African Services Committee

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Steering Committee and staff at Detention Watch Network (DWN), I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Ana K. Carrion and Silky Shah as Co- Directors of the Detention Watch Network. As longtime DWN staff, Ana and Silky have played a critical role in building the power of the Network to challenge and expose the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention system. Together they have increased visibility on detention issues, expanded DWN’s base locally and nationally, and worked with members to envision a world without immigrant detention. More recently, they worked seamlessly to move forward DWN’s key projects including: the End the Quota campaign, the Expose and Close reports and the 10th National DWN Member Conference.

DWN has always had a collective structure in decision-making and distribution of work, so moving towards a collective leadership model really made sense. The DWN Steering Committee is excited to bring our leadership structure more firmly in line with our core values.

Ana and Silky bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their leadership roles. Ana has over fifteen years experience working in administration, project management and fundraising for local, national and international organizations. Silky has been working in the field of immigrant rights for over ten years and brings her experience and skills in education and grassroots organizing, communications, and program management.

DWN is also expanding its presence nationally. In addition to our main office in Washington, DC, DWN will also have staff on the West Coast in California and in Washington State.

Along with the rest of our amazing DWN staff, I know that you will join me in congratulating Ana and Silky as they move into their new positions and with our Network of dedicated and committed organizations and individuals, continue and expand upon our work together for dignity and justice for all.

Sincerely,
Amanda Lugg
DWN Steering Committee Chair
Director of Advocacy, African Services Committee

Learn More about Ana and Silky

Ana K. Carrión has over fifteen years experience working in the nonprofit sector in project administration and grant management. Ana joined DWN in 2010 and has served in various roles in administration, finance and fundraising and membership program development. In these roles, she managed the budget, strengthened administrative and financial tools and played a key role in funder and donor outreach. She led the customization of the organizational database, oversaw improvements to DWN’s online tools and implemented new strategies to engage membership and grow the Network.

Prior to joining DWN, Ana managed an AmeriCorps grant program for the Catholic Volunteer Network, a national membership organization of over 80 faith-based volunteer programs. Before that, Ana served as Coordinator for Project Gettysburg/Leon, a sister city between Leon, Nicaragua and Gettysburg, PA. As Coordinator, she worked closely with civil society organizations and partners in local government to support community-led projects in Leon that included a maternal health clinic, a community art school, and a mid-wives’ training program, among others. With Project Gettysburg/León, she co-led partners through a strategic planning process that shifted the direction of project funding towards a more holistic approach to community development. She also worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s International Migration Policy Program (now the Migration Policy Institute) providing program support and collaborating on research related to international migration policies. Ana earned her B.A. from the University of Miami, and has a Master in Public Affairs and a Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Silky Shah has been with DWN since March 2009 and has served as the Field Director, Communications Director and Interim Executive Director before moving into the role of Co-Director. During her time at DWN she organized and launched the Dignity Not Detention campaign and managed the writing, editing, design and media outreach for the Expose and Close reports and follow-up. Silky also served as the primary coordinator of the 2009 and 2011 national member conferences and organized four Deportation 101 trainings across the country in collaboration with member partners.

Silky has worked as an organizer on issues related to mass incarceration, racial justice and immigrants rights for over a decade. From 2003 to 2006 she was an organizer for Grassroots Leadership in Texas, where she worked with students nationally to expand their knowledge of the prison industrial complex through corporate accountability campaigns against Lehman Brothers and Farallon Capital Management, both of which were invested in the private prison industry. In addition, she led campaigns against the expansion of immigrant detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico border and co-founded the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition. After leaving Grassroots Leadership, she spent six months volunteering with Sahiyar, a local women’s organization in Gujarat, India, translating materials into English and training staff in video production. Upon returning to the U.S., Silky went on to work for the independent news program, Democracy Now!, supporting syndication and promotion of the show. In her free time she enjoys radio production and spent five years as a co-producer and host of Asia Pacific Forum, a pan-Asian radio hour on Pacifica’s WBAI 99.5 FM in New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.


Watch via @Grassroots_News: Rally to Stop the Return of #FamilyDetention

DWN Blog - August 14, 2014 - 19:58

via Grassroots Leadership and Texans United for Families:

Texans United for Families and others rallied in front of the T. Don Hutto Immigrant Detention Center in Taylor, TX on Saturday, August 9th, 2014. They marked the fifth anniversary of the end to family detention there – with love and rage. Read more here.


New Project via @EndIsolation: “Detention Stories – Life Inside California’s New Angel Island”

DWN Blog - August 12, 2014 - 22:57

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Audio Recordings Document Abuse in Immigration Detention

LOS ANGELES – Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) releases seven audio recordings and videos, featuring the voices of people in immigration detention across California.  As video and audio recording generally is not allowed in immigration detention facilities, people in immigration detention requested that CIVIC record their voices to share with a larger audience online.  Through these telephone conversations, CIVIC documented arbitrary use of solitary confinement, sexual assault, physical abuse by ICE officers, prolonged detention, retaliatory transfers, and other aspects of life inside immigration detention.

“I caught one of the officers kissing one of the detainees in the R&D (receiving and departure) room, cause there’s no cameras, there’s no audio. It’s like a black spot in the prison. She (the detention officer) was like scared because they said that if I would open my mouth, she will make sure they would deport me,” explains Victoria Villalba and Yordy Cancino, who were detained at the Otay Detention Center in California.

“ICE officers used their hands to push the hands on my mouth. Told me to shut up. I cannot breathe even. I almost died,” explains Yu Wang, who has been deported to China.Sylvester Owino was close to obtaining a bond hearing under Rodriguez v. Robbins, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that immigrants who have been locked up six months or longer in California have a right to a bond hearing to determine whether or not they should continue to be detained.  “Most of us that were fighting our cases were moved to Alabama where we cannot have those kinds of hearings,” says Sylvester Owino.  Owino remains in detention today in Alabama, after spending eight years in immigration detention without a bond hearing.

“Every time that you have something else or something different that you could do to distract your mind, the officers always come and take your options to be free,” says Marcela Castro, who was detained at the James Musick Facility for over six months while seeking asylum. “They don’t let you to be a human being or to think.  They don’t let you to be yourself.”

The videos are part of CIVIC’s multimedia project, “Detention Stories: Life Inside California’s New Angel Island.”  Through a grant from Cal Humanities and in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, CIVIC explored the social and cultural world inside California’s immigration detention centers through the stories men and women in immigration detention share.  While this project was not focused on advocacy, we learned how harmful the daily grinding life of detention is for human beings, and how these extraordinary (although quite common) circumstances of abuse occur too often in secrecy.

“The stories people in immigration detention share in these clips are shocking,” said Christina Fialho, co-executive director of CIVIC.  “It is no wonder that our federal government does not generally allow audio or video recording devices in immigration detention.  If the federal government refuses to be transparent about detention practices, it is our duty to provide people in detention with a platform to tell their stories.”While the United States debates the large-scale legalization of undocumented immigrants, the issue of adult immigration detention is rarely discussed.  More importantly, the voices of immigrants in detention have not been a part of the discussions. Equality demands that people in detention have a voice in policy discussions affecting their daily lives.

“People in detention can be their own advocates and take steps to make their voices heard,” said Will Coley, the Technical Director for the project and founder of Aquifer Media. “We’re only facilitating that with current technology.”

In addition to these films, CIVIC launched a reporting platform for immigrants detained across the globe to share their stories.  To date, no comparable project has documented adult immigration detention stories in a systematic way.  Over the next few years, CIVIC will be working with people in detention, their families, and NGOs across the globe to create a larger audio/visual map of the global immigration detention landscape through the stories people in immigration detention desire to share.

“Although their bodies may be locked up,” said Fialho, “their voices remain free.”

###


CIVIC is a national nonprofit working to end the isolation and abuse of people in immigration detention through visitation, storytelling, detention monitoring, and other targeted campaigns.  You can learn more at www.endisolation.org.

Detention Stories: Life Inside California’s New Angel Island was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Cal Humanities or NEH. Experience more at www.calhum.org.


8/8 in #CostaMesa CA: Screening of Detention Stories – Life Inside California’s New Angel Island

DWN Blog - August 7, 2014 - 11:46

via CIVIC:

JOIN US FOR A DOCUMENTARY PRE-SCREENING OF DETENTION STORIES: LIFE INSIDE CALIFORNIA’S NEW ANGEL ISLAND

Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is proud to release Detention Stories: Life Inside California’s New Angel Island, a documentary film series that explores the social and cultural world inside California’s immigration detention centers through individuals who are in the best position to describe it: men and women in detention.  Come learn about the history of immigration detention in California from the early 1900s to the present.

Details:

Date: Friday, August 8th from 6:15pm to 8:30pm

Location: Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church, 2845 Mesa Verde Dr. East, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Free parking available in church lot.

Presented by:

Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement in partnership with Aquifer Media.  This documentary film series was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Cal Humanities or NEH.

Co-Sponsors: Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church, Irvine United Congregational Church, Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church of Pasadena.  For co-sponsorship opportunities, please email info@endisolation.org.  

Agenda:

6:15 to 6:30: Reception (light refreshments served)

6:30 to 7:15: Screening of the documentaries with explanation of the project by CIVIC’s Christina Fialho

7:15 to 8:30: Q&A/Meet the producers, filmmakers, and storytellers

Special presentation by Tina Shull, a leading expert on immigration detention, history, and the humanities.  In 2007, her husband was detained and deported.  Her current research focuses on the intersections of Reagan’s Cold War nationalism, public xenophobia, and the rise of prison privatization in the 1980s – with the hopes of lending a historical narrative to current immigration policy debates.

This event is free and open to the public.  A tax-deductible donation to CIVIC is suggested.