Last month’s sequester-related release of immigrants from immigration detention centers brought praise from immigrants' rights advocates and impassioned criticism from conservative politicians. If the surprise move by ICE accomplishes nothing more, hopefully it will prompt us to ask whether we want to continue relying so heavily on confinement as a tool for enforcing immigration law.
The struggle against Arizona's infamous anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070, continues. A key component of the fight-back involves a grassroots campaign in Tucson against the state's private prison industry via a broad community coalition called Fuerza!
While the Obama administration is touting its new immigration detention guidelines and showing off the federal government’s new detention facility in Karnes County, Texas, the larger picture of immigrant incarceration remains ugly. It is this fundamental reality of inhumanity, as a just-released report from New York University's Immigrant Rights Clinic makes clear, that we must keep our eyes on.
In the United States, at least 5000 children are abandoned and left in state foster care, or in the care of extended family, when birth parents are arrested and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Many parents are deported with their children having little hope of ever reuniting with them again. On this day, we’ve been cleared to visit with a couple of mothers from Mexico.