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LOS ANGELES, CA, Feb. 13, 2020 – Freedom for Immigrants is excited to launch a project titled “Detention in Your District,” a series of informational briefs highlighting US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in Congressional districts throughout the country. An essential component of ending immigration detention is understanding its scope and methods of expansion, especially as the Trump administration calls for an even bigger budget to enable its detention apparatus. We recognize that in order to be truly #DONEWithDetention, we must understand how it functions in our own backyards, and how local detention fits into a national system of mass incarceration of immigrants.
Detention in Your District briefs include crucial details such as facility capacity, resources for advocates and detained persons, risk of expansion, and documented abuses. Detention In Your District briefs are currently available for 24 facilities in 10 Congressional districts for: CA-51, LA-5, GA-3, AL-4, TX-16, NY-27, VA-5, NM-2, AZ-1, and NJ-8. Freedom for Immigrants chose to focus on these districts first because they are either facing unprecedented detention expansion or have been sites of concerning human rights abuses historically. We will augment this list with additional districts throughout 2020.
“Immigration detention is not isolated to any one state or region,” said Sarah Gardiner, Policy Director at Freedom for Immigrants. “With ‘Detention In Your District’ project, voters and policy makers can learn more about how detention in their communities fits into broader patterns of abuse, and how profit incentives are motivating expansion.”
Detention in Your District is a result of research conducted by Policy volunteers and supervised by Freedom for Immigrants. Freedom for Immigrants selected the initial districts included in this project in consultation with affiliate visitation programs. We sought to provide a geographically and politically diverse range of districts in this initial sample, and also worked to include an overview of both publicly and privately managed jails and prisons and to highlight areas of the country where detention is actively or a risk of expansion.
“These briefs illustrate that abuse and neglect in ICE jails is not isolated, but rather part of a disturbing national pattern.” said Cynthia Galaz, Policy Monitor for Freedom for Immigrants. “Detention In Your District’ seeks to empower advocates and directly impacted people in demanding for change and to educate elected officials on the abuses that take place everyday within their jurisdiction.” We are hoping that Detention In Your District, in conjunction with additional resources in our interactive map of immigrant detention in the United States, will provide advocates and policymakers with the tools they need to make changes in their communities, and ultimately, to end immigration detention nationally.
Detention In Your District resources can be accessed at: https://www.freedomforimmigrants.org/map