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

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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.

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. 

ICE Retaliates Against Immigrant Rights Advocates by Suspending Visitation Program at Etowah Detention Center, Advocates Demand the Program Be Reinstated Ahead of the Holidays

December 2, 2019

Gadsden, AL — In retaliation of a group of volunteer visits that was followed by a rally outside of the Etowah Detention Center in November, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Etowah County Sheriff's Office have suspended the Etowah Visitation Project. On behalf of the Etowah Visitation Project, Freedom for Immigrants issued a cease and desist letter today to ICE and the Etowah County Sheriff's Office.

Stirring testimony from inside the Stewart Detention Center underscores ongoing abuse and racist judge  

October 28, 2019

Lumpkin, Georgia — As people detained at the Stewart Detention Center (Stewart) headed into the 26th day of being denied access to outdoor recreation, a group of people currently detained there filed a formal complaint with a federal watchdog agency today detailing abuse by facility staff and deepening the existing criticism of Immigration Judge Dan Trimble. The complaint, lodged with the U.S.

Rising trend: Immigrants protest their incarceration with hunger strikes at ICE detention centers across the country

October 21, 2019

Tacoma, Washington — Today, more than 100 people detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) entered their fourth day on hunger strike from inside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility operated by GEO Group. This is the 13th hunger strike to occur this year alone (see list of hunger strikes below) that immigrant rights’ advocates are aware of in over nine states, indicating the rising use of hunger strikes as a protest tactic to denounce immigration detention.

Second death in ICE custody for FY20: Suicide at Louisiana Immigration Jail

October 17, 2019

Monroe, Louisiana — Detention Watch Network and Congreso de Jornaleros at the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice are demanding an immediate investigation into the death of Roylan Hernández Diáz, a 43-year-old man from Cuba. Hernández Diáz died on October 15 while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after being detained at the Richwood Correctional Center in Monroe, Louisiana. ICE is reporting Hernández Diaz’s death as a suicide, who was being held in solitary confinement at the time, a practice internationally recognized as torture.