Washington, DC — Detention Watch Network denounces Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) latest raid operation in Mississippi that tore nearly 700 people from their loved ones, including parents from their children, and drove more people into the expanding and inhumane immigration detention system.
The following is a statement from Bárbara Suárez Galeano, Organizing Director of Detention Watch Network:
“The raids across Mississippi were an act of terror against the immigrant communities rooted in white supremacy. Orchestrated by the Trump administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) forcibly separated loved ones, driving more people into the already massive immigration detention system. This is yet another example of the shockwaves that ongoing raids send across communities and of the racial profiling that immigrants and people of color face daily on a sweeping, destructive scale.
National Guard facilities are being used to detain people, however details on where and for how long people will be detained are sparse, following ICE’s well-documented lack of transparency over its operations. We expect people targeted in the raids to be transferred to Louisiana detention facilities one of which, Pine Prairie, is currently experiencing a hunger strike of approximately 100 people protesting their incarceration.
The bolstering of the immigration detention system during this time, as members of Congress are currently debating ICE’s budget, is a calculated move by the administration to make the case for expansion of the detention system, which is currently at an all time high of 55,000 people detained. and stoke fear within the Latinx community just days after the terror attack in El Paso targeting Latinxs.
Immigration jails are not the answer—they are a product of white supremacy and must be shut down. People need to be released now and Members of Congress must call for cuts in funding to ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agencies that operate off of immigrant pain and taxpayer dollars.”