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We Must End Immigration Detention TODAY!

April 18, 2019

The “immigration detention system” dehumanizes individuals at every level.

“Detention centers” are prisons with atrocious conditions. The immigration detention is part of this country’s mass incarceration crisis. We’ve seen this firsthand.

Last week, our Immigrant Justice team testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, detailing the appalling conditions of “immigrant detention centers” in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

In partnerships with Puente Human Rights Movement, our team visited Eloy Detention Center in Arizona in 2018. During our visit to the for-profit prison run by CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America), we saw and heard from those detained. We saw and learned about Eloy’s inhumane “voluntary” $1 a day work conditions, poor food quality and quantity, lack of basic medical care, brutal solitary confinement area, and denial of basic hygiene and human dignity.

With our partners Juntos and Casa San Jose in Pennsylvania, we also witnessed the poor conditions of York County Prison, a state-run facility where U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) rents about half of the 1,500 beds. Because those imprisoned were kept in giant rooms lacking curtains or any form of privacy,  individuals had to sleep, eat, bathe, and relieve themselves all in the same open room.

From our work we know that the lack of basic medical care and the denial of basic hygiene and human dignity is not an anomaly at these” detention centers” – it is the norm.

It’s the very reason why we must end immigrant detention today and adopt a humanitarian-approach to migration. Ending the use of for-profit prison corporations and investigating allegation of racial discrimination is critical to dismantling the system that criminalizes Black and Brown bodies.

We believe every person should be treated with respect and human dignity. In 2019, we’ve filed three lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against ICE, the Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs & Border Protection. These FOIA lawsuits seek transparency and accountability about the Administration’s criminalization of migration and racial profiling. Support Advancement Project’s National Office as we continue our advocacy to bring transparency to the continued attacks on people of color and work to decriminalize migration.

Read our testimony from today’s hearing and support our efforts as we pursue justice for all.

4-12-19 Public Comments on Immigration Detention

Losmin Jimenez is the Immigrant Justice Project Director for Advancement Project’s National Office.