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Advancement Project National Office Releases Major Report Exposing Inhumane Conditions Inside an ICE Detention, Calls to End Immigrant Detention

Joshua Garner

WASHINGTON, DC – Advancement Project National Office in partnership with Puente Human Rights Movement are calling for an end to immigrant detention and mass incarceration as they launch the release of  “Arizona’s Carceral Crisis: The Human Cost of Being Confined,” a report that exposes the extreme conditions inside an ICE detention facility. The qualitative report highlights the harmful ways that immigrants of color are criminalized and dehumanized in an ICE detention center in Arizona, and how these harmful practices feed the mass incarceration crisis across America. This release comes on the heels of the Senate’s decision Thursday, to pass the Continuing Resolution bill that will continue to fund federal government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, will result in the continued funding of this major prison crisis.

“We hope this report serves as a tool for communities as they challenge oppressive systems of over-policing, mass incarceration, and how those systems contribute to immigration detention,” said Losmin Jimenez, Project Director and Senior Attorney for the Immigrant Justice Project at Advancement Project National Office.  “The root causes of criminalization need to be challenged. Immigration detention is not a stand-alone system. Detention centers like Eloy should be shuttered and their resources redistributed to humanitarian efforts in migrant communities.”

The report is officially released along with the launch of the, an immersive website that includes a collection of videos, narratives, and digital toolkits featuring the voices of people currently detained inside Eloy.

In August 2018, Advancement Project National Office in partnership with Arizona-based Puente Human Rights Movement visited Arizona’s Eloy Detention Center as part of the organization’s Immigrant Justice work. Largely accepted as the deadliest detention center in the nation, Advancement Project National Office recorded the stories of people who were detained inside Eloy who detailed a brutal system of incarceration and people in need of humanitarian assistance. The report features narratives of death, medical neglect and human beings being denied basic necessities and dignity, many of them forced to work in the facility, making only $1 per day.

Immigrant detention is a brutal, dehumanizing system of mass incarceration where as many as 52,000 people are detained daily in the U.S. for daring to seek a better life. Contact with the criminal legal system disproportionately impacts Black and Brown people. This system brings private prison companies great profit at the cost of pain inflicted on immigrant communities.

“Silence will not protect us and this report speaks to the injustices that we face when we allow for prisons to disappear us and our struggles. Since its existence, Eloy Detention Center has been a place that many have not returned home from, many disappear and others lose a part of themselves after living the terrors of mistreatment in this cage,” said Jovana Renteria, Puente Human Rights Movement, Co-Director and co-author of the report. “Prisons and detention centers like Eloy are costing state governments billions of dollars in taxpayer funds each year as well as a being a continuing fiscal burden for the U.S. taxpayer. It is wasteful and destabilizes families and communities and results in human rights abuses for people who are detained.”

“For the last 10 years Puente has organized with families to expose the abuses inside Eloy Detention Center. I’ve had family in Eloy and understand firsthand what it is like to have loved ones detained in this cage knowing the lack of due process and abuse that takes place,” said Carlos Garcia, Puente Human Rights Movement, Co-Director. “It is society’s most vulnerable – racial and ethnic minorities, low-income people, migrants, children, mentally ill and the elderly – who are most likely to suffer from injustices in the criminal justice system. This is why we make the connection from prisons to detention centers and call for an end to all cages.”

“Arizona’s Carceral Crisis: The Human Cost of Being Confined” can be downloaded here. National immigrant justice experts Losmin Jimenez and immigrant rights activist who was detained at Eloy Alejandra Pablos are available for interviews.


Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high-quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.

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