Our latest press releases on important news and events relating to immigration detention in the United States

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Suicides on the rise in immigration detention

February 21, 2020

Youngstown, Ohio — Detention Watch Network is demanding an immediate investigation into the death of David Hernandez Colula, a 34-year-old man from Mexico. Hernandez Colula died on February 20 while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after being detained at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, Ohio. ICE is reporting his death as an apparent suicide, marking the seventh death in ICE custody during FY2020. 

Defund Hate Coalition Condemns Trump’s Anti-Immigrant FY21 Budgets, Calls on Congress to Act

February 10, 2020

Washington, DC — The Defund Hate Coalition issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021:

Defund Hate Coalition Responds to ICE Shooting Two People in NYC: The Deportation Force of ICE and CBP Are Terrorizing our Communities 

February 7, 2020

Washington, DC — On Thursday, news media reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shot two people in an attempt to arrest an immigrant outside their home in Brooklyn, New York. 

The Defund Hate Campaign, which is made up of 38 organizations comprising directly impacted communities, faith leaders, and civil rights and immigrant rights advocates, released the following statement:

New bill will keep ICE and its contractors out of Maryland, protect immigrant communities, and make sure that no city, county, or corporation is profiting from immigration detention

January 30, 2020

Annapolis, Maryland — Today, Maryland Delegates introduced the Dignity Not Detention Act, a bill that would ban new state and local contracts with for-profit immigration detention companies and start to phase out existing contracts by July 2020.

Silky Shah, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network, issued the following statement in response:

Immigrant rights advocates across the country demand Sheriff Horton reinstate the Etowah Visitation Project

January 29, 2020

Gadsden, Alabama – Just over a month since the Etowah Visitation Project celebrated the reinstatement of the project at the Etowah Detention Center on December 18, the group has learned that the agreement previously in place between Sheriff Horton and the visitation project is not being upheld despite being notified by his office that visits would resume. Rather, people detained are no longer being formally connected to community support, as they were previously, and barriers imposed make visitation nearly impossible.

Two deaths over the course of three days in ICE immigration detention centers

January 28, 2020

Macclenny, Florida — Detention Watch Network and Friends of Miami-Dade Detainees are demanding an immediate investigation into the deaths of Ben James Owen, a 39-year-old man from the United Kingdom, and a 63-year-old man from Cuba. Owen died on January 25 while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after being detained at the Baker County Detention Center in Macclenny, Florida. ICE is reporting his death as a suicide.

Texas Representatives Urge ICE to suspend 10-year detention contract solicitation of three immigration jails

January 13, 2020

Washington, DC —Today, Texas Representatives sent a letter to the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Acting Director of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Director of the Office of Management Acquisition urging them to immediately suspend the current solicitation for three ICE detention center contracts in Texas in violation of federal procurement laws.

Immigrant Rights Advocates Celebrate Reinstated Visitation Program at Etowah Detention Center Following Public Pressure & Cease and Desist Letter

December 19, 2019

Gadsden, Alabama – In response to a letter addressed to Etowah County Sheriff Jonathon Horton signed by 62 community organizations and a cease and desist letter issued by Freedom for Immigrants on behalf of the Etowah Visitation Project, visitation has resumed at the Etowah Detention Center. 

Defund Hate Campaign on Appropriations Bill: Allowing Unchecked Spending by ICE and CBP Will Fuel Further Abuse and Deaths of Immigrants 

December 18, 2019

Washington, DC — On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1158 (116), which will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue expanding its detention and deportation force. The bill allows ICE and CBP to continue taking money from other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies and gifts DHS $1.37 billion to continue building deadly border walls. 

More than 45 organizations call for Congress to investigate ICE’s evasion of procurement law

December 5, 2019

Washington, DC —Today, more than 45 non-governmental organizations that work in Texas sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to use their oversight authorities to investigate Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) attempt to evade procurement law and disregard community opposition to contract extensions in Texas for immigration detention.