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Impacting immigration detention policies through civic engagement
When politicians know that their constituents care about an issue, they are more likely to vote or take action in favorable ways. Establishing and nurturing relationships with your local, state, and/or national representatives is crucial to enacting policies that protect and affirm the rights of immigrants, and also to preventing policies that would negatively impact immigrant communities.
Request a detention tour to learn more about a detention facility in your area, or to conduct a shadow inspection of the facility. For more information about the need for shadow inspections, see Detention Oversight. Touring a detention facility through ICE’s stakeholder access policy is possible as long as participants are associated with an organization and submit the required information:
For more information about using ICE’s stakeholder access policy, see the Women Refugee’s Commission guide.
Before conducting a detention tour, make sure you have a clear plan regarding what information you are looking for, and what you will do with the information after the tour. DWN will support members to create anonymized summary reports of any shadow inspections conducted. If possible and appropriate, we will post these reports to the Immigration Detention Transparency and Human Rights Project, alongside the facility’s contracts and official ICE inspections. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use the media to educate your community about what is happening at your local detention center, to recruit more community members to join you, and to put additional pressure on the decision maker(s) you are targeting. You can find many resources to support your media work, including talking points, a sample letter to the editor, and press templates, on pages 29-34 of our toolkit: