Four New Visitation Programs Since July: And More Coming Soon!
By Christina Fialho
Since July 2012, the visitation movement has expanded to Orange County, California; San Diego, California; Monmouth County, New Jersey; and Rappahannock County, Virginia. CIVIC has been contacted by 18 other groups hoping to learn more about immigration detention and bring a visitation program to their communities.
Sarah Jackson, one of these rising visitation program coordinators, already runs a hospitality home in Aurora, Colorado. The home, Casa de Paz, is near the state’s one detention facility operated by GEO Group and contracted with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Casa de Paz is modeled after one of CIVIC’s members, El Refugio, in Georgia. Casa de Paz opened its doors in June 2012 so friends and relatives of people in immigration detention can maintain contact with their loved ones as well as have a place to eat and sleep.
Sarah sees visitation as an extension of her work. “Opening our doors to our home is a simple thing we can do to bring families back together again. The new visitation service will connect those being detained to visitors, which will inspire new friendships. This reinforces our goal to connect families and build community.”