Become a Visitor Volunteer in Florida!

The Friends of Miami-Dade Detainees (FOMDD) will be hosting an Immigration Detention Awareness and Visitor Orientation Program. This two hour session, hosted by our visitor volunteers will give attendees an overview of immigration detention in the United States as well as the knowledge and skills necessary to become a visitor volunteer at the Krome Service Processing Center.

Date: Sunday, June 29th
Time: 1-3 PM
Place: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami
7701 SW 76th Ave
Miami, FL 33143

Reservations are not required, but an RSVP by filling out this form would be appreciated: http://bit.ly/FOMDDtraining

Adelanto Slated to be Largest U.S. Immigration Detention Facility

The Adelanto Detention Center in California is expanding.  The facility is operated by GEO Group and currently detains on any given day 1300 men for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The expansion will include an extra 640 beds for people in the custody of ICE, including for women. By the end of the project, there will be 1940 beds in Adelanto, making it the largest immigration detention facility in the country.  ICE and GEO plan to have the expansion complete by next summer.  To learn more about this expansion and what it means for the community, email Christina at CFialho@endisolation.org.

Amendment to Eliminate Bed Quota Offered!

CIVIC commends U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05)  for Fighting Immigrant Detention Abuse, Unconstitutional ICE Detainers and a Wasteful Detention Bed Mandate 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) offered amendments to the FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill to protect undocumented immigrants from abuse in detention centers, reject unconstitutional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers and end a mandated detention bed quota that wastes millions of dollars annually. 

Rep. Quigley’s first amendment would increase funding levels by $5.2 million for the implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in immigration detention facilities. PREA sets a zero-tolerance standard for prison rape and sexual abuse and created guidelines to hold correctional facilities across the country accountable for protecting their inmates. The amendment diverts funding from ICE detainers, which federal courts have consistently held to be unconstitutional.

“The government has a moral responsibility to ensure the safety of any person under its charge. For too long we have allowed the pervasive and systematic abuse of detainees held in immigration detention facilities. This is especially true with regards to LGBT detainees. Increased funding for PREA implementation is a vital step towards ending this unconscionable miscarriage of justice,” said Rep. Quigley.

Rep. Quigley led the push for a GAO investigation that identified problems at detention facilities around the country and questioned the adequacy of investigations into allegations of sexual assault and abuse. Following the report’s release, Rep. Quigley organized a bipartisan group of Members of Congress that called on the Obama Administration to put strong regulations in place to better prevent abuse and assault of detainees.

Rep. Quigley’s second amendment, which received bipartisan support, would remove a requirement from the appropriations bill that mandates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to maintain a 34,000 bed quota in detention facilities.

“Immigration custody decisions should be made on an individualized basis following a calculus of flight risk, risk to public safety and relevant humanitarian considerations – not an arbitrary bed quota that wastes millions of dollars each year. Removing this mandate will provide DHS the flexibility to fund smarter and more efficient alternatives to detention that reduce the unnecessary separation of families and save American taxpayers money,” said Rep. Quigley.

The U.S. spends more than $5 million a day to detain immigrants, an estimated 45 percent of which have no criminal record according the Human Rights Watch. That equates to roughly $164 per day per detainee and roughly $2 billion per year. Utilizing more cost-effective and secure alternatives could cost as little as 30 cents to $14 per day.

Rep. Quigley has been a staunch advocate of comprehensive immigration reform and humane detention policies throughout his time in Congress. He has pushed Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and fix America’s broken immigration system that unnecessarily tears families apart, disrupts the workforce and drains economic resources.

 

What is the Criminal Alien Requirement?

Report Shows Federal Bureau of Prisons Incentivizes Mistreatment, Shields Immigrant Prisons from Scrutiny

Today the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas released the report Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison Industry, a devastating look into the secretive “Criminal Alien Requirement” or “CAR” prisons for immigrants. In a four-year investigation of five CAR prisons in Texas, our researchers found pervasive and disturbing patterns of neglect and abuse of the prisoners–all non-citizens, most of whom have been convicted only of immigration offenses (such as unlawfully reentering the country).

“At the CAR prisons we investigated, the prisoners lived day to day not knowing if their basic human needs would be met, whether they would get medical attention if they were hurt or ill,” said Carl Takei, Staff Attorney at the ACLU’s National Prison Project. “The Bureau of Prisons creates perverse incentives for the for-profit prison companies to endanger human health and lives.”

In total, the 13 CAR prisons across the country hold more than 25,000 immigrants. Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas, noted, “Every year we lock away tens of thousands of immigrants simply for unlawfully crossing the border. Why waste hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars on inhumane prisons when we could use civil proceedings to process these cases? The CAR prisons come with a moral and economic price tag we can’t afford.”

The report details the relationship between each of the three companies that run them–CCA, GEO Group, and MTC–and the federal Bureau of Prisons, including the ways that the Bureau and the companies work together to cover up the prisons’ conditions.

“Ten percent of the bed space in CAR prisons is contractually reserved for extreme isolation–nearly double the rate of isolation in normal federal prisons. I spoke to prisoners who spent weeks in isolation cells after being sent there upon intake–simply arriving at prison was the reason why they were locked in a cell and fed through a slot for 23 hours a day,” said Takei. “The shameful conditions inside CAR prisons are a direct result of the government’s decision to allow suffering inside these for-profit prisons.”

In Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison Industry, the ACLU and the ACLU of Texas tell the stories of prisoners who have been torn from their families by the extreme distances (often 1,000 miles or more) between a CAR prison and a prisoner’s hometown and by the high phone rates the private prison companies charge for phone calls.

Among its recommendations to the federal government, the report calls on the Bureau of Prisons to strengthen oversight of CAR prisons, end the use of contractually binding occupancy quotas for CAR prisons, and stop spending taxpayer money to shield basic information about private prisons from public disclosure. It also urges the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to return immigration enforcement to civil immigration authorities.

The report is available here: www.aclu.org/CARabuse.

Published on American Civil Liberties Union (https://www.aclu.org)

Source URL: https://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights-prisoners-rights/aclu-finds-abuse-inhumane-conditions-little-known-prisons