#Not1More Deportation

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Watch: Detainees & Supporters Call on DHS to #CutTheContracts

On the morning of Wednesday September 28th, Color of Change, the Black Alliance for Justice Immigration, and members of the #Not1More Campaign rallied at the Department of Homeland Security to demand the DHS follow the example of the Department of Justice and cancel its contracts with private prison companies that run a majority of its immigrant detention centers.

The coalition delivered over 200,000 petitions collected by Color of Change, BAJI, Mijente and the #Not1More Campaign, CREDO, ACLU, Presente, Daily Kos, and America’s Voice as well as an organizational letter from Detention Watch Network with over 350 organizations co-signing.

After the delivery event, the detainees confronted DHS Sec. Johnson on the street in DC with Cindy Barrientos imploring for the release of her son Wilhen who has spent more than a year in detention despite his three other siblings all having already being granted asylum.

Sign to Free Cindy’s Son, Wilhen


BREAKING: Former Detainees Confront Head of Homeland Security

This afternoon former detainees brought to DC by the #Not1More Campaign, Color of Change, and BAJI confronted Jeh Johnson outside a public speaking event to demand he address the crisis inside immigrant detention and cut the department’s contracts with private prisons.


The sidewalk exchange came after the group delivered 200,000 petitions with the same demand collected by Color of Change, BAJI, Mijente and the #Not1More Campaign, CREDO, ACLU, Presente, Daily Kos, and America’s Voice as well as an organizational letter from Detention Watch Network with over 350 organizations co-signing.

Johnson had announced a departmental review of private prisons’ role in immigrant detention after the Department of Justice declared that it would be terminating its contracts with corporations that profit from imprisonment. The families, detainees, and activists gathered however say that a review is unnecessary and that the suffering they’ve experienced and the crisis their loved ones are continuing to endure inside requires immediate action.

“My son has spent over a year and three months in a privately run detention center in Georgia,” explained Cindy Barrientos, a member of Georgia Latino Alliance of Human Rights. “I asked the Secretary to look into his case and free him because I want him home.”

Organizational representatives added earlier at the petition delivery:

Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color Of Change:
“The private prison industry is a moral stain on our country’s conscience. It’s a parasitic industry that lobbies for racist, ‘tough-on-crime’ policies that target Black communities to create more business. Last month, the Department of Justice finally came to terms with these realities and announced it will stop using private prison facilities. The Department of Homeland Security should take the same step, and it should do so ahead of its report in November.

“It is an outrage that DHS is the single largest client of the private prison industry, which has a horrendous history of racism and abuse. While Black people make up 7 percent of the entire immigrant population, we account for 20 percent of immigrants who are deported or detained in these facilities. Inmates at privately managed detention centers also suffer regular abuse, though about 40 percent of sexual abuse allegations go unreported. It’s time that DHS stand up to the unconscionable practice of making money off of incarceration.”

Carl Lipscombe, BAJI Policy and Legal Manager, Black Alliance for Just Immigration:
Private prison contractors have been accused of physical and sexual violence and abuse, in addition to numerous health, safety and environmental violations. For this reason and more, private prison and immigrant detention center contracts should be cancelled.”

Jacinta Gonzalez, Field Director, Mijente/Not1More Deportation Campaign:
“Until private incarceration and detention is ended all together, corporate facilities will just be recycled between agencies. The Department of Homeland Security should make clear now that it will not be those companies replacement customer and that it too will end its part in prison profiteering,” states Jacinta Gonzalez, Field Director for Mijente on behalf of the #Not1more Deportation Campaign. “The country’s detention system represents a major crisis made worse by companies profiting from the suffering of the people kept inside. The review should investigate those facilities and address the policies and prosecutions that are unnecessarily filling them in the first place.”


Chicago Calls for Second Civil Rights Investigation Into ICE Raid Tactics

Today Organized Communities Against Deportations and the Chicago Religious Leadership Network  along with the #Not1More Deportation Campaign filed a formal request for a  civil rights investigation into tactics used by the Chicago Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office to conduct immigration raids and deport local residents.

ICE- Police- Impersonation of Friend%2FHousemate

These are the text messages Reynold received from an ICE agent or police officer pretending to be his close family friend.

This call for an investigation is based on the behavior of immigration agents during the detention of the Garcia family, during which, amongst other deceptive behavior, they pretended to be local police officers concerned about a close friend of the family who had supposedly been in an accident. This is how they got Reynold Garcia, the father, out of his church where he was seeking solace after his family had been detained. (see texts).

The investigation would be done by the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the office of the Inspector General (IOG), and it comes just two weeks after CRCL began to look into complaints of use of biometric fingerprinting machines in the racial profiling of a group of Latino workers gathered at a historically known day labor corner in Chicago.

Organizers argue that there is a pattern of abuse of power, violations of human and civil rights, and lack of accountability and transparency stemming from the Chicago ICE office, under the direction of Director Ricardo Wong.

Below are the documents that support the request for a civil rights investigation and the petition to support the Garcia Family. Read more

DHS Must Follow DOJ Example, Cut Profit-Motive and Address Urgent Crisis in Detention

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In the wake of the announcement that the Department of Justice would phase out its private prison contracts after a scathing OIG report, The #Not1More Campaign, Color of Change, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), and others called for the Department of Homeland Security, whose immigrant detention system makes up the larger portion of private facilities, to follow suit.

Earlier today Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Jeh Johnson announced that he had ordered an evaluation of whether immigration detention should move towards reducing and ultimately ending its use of private prisons.

“With the Department of Justice phasing out its use of private prisons, the Department of Homeland Security should make clear now that it will not be those companies replacement customer,” said Jacinta Gonzalez, Mijente Field Director on behalf of the Not1More Deportation Campaign. “DHS’ detention system has proven to be cruel and costly. It’s past time that DHS end the practice of detaining immigrants and this review should move it in that direction.  Whether it is in the CCA-run Eloy facility where a series of suspicious deaths sparked hunger strikes and four recent sexual assault cases remain uninvestigated or in the Berks family detention center where refugee mothers demand their freedom, or the trans pods in Santa Ana where detainees face abuse, the country’s detention system represents a major crisis made worse by companies profiting from the suffering of the people kept inside..”

Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change, stated, “The private prison industry is one of the most entrenched obstacle to ending mass incarceration. DHS is the biggest benefactor of an industry that profits from the suffering of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children — a disproportionate number of which are Black. As long as the private prison industry spends millions attempting to buy politicians and elections, we cannot have real criminal justice or immigration reform. The federal government has the opportunity to be a part of the solution and they can start by no longer bankrolling for-profit incarceration.”

Carl Lipscombe, BAJI Policy and Legal Manager, added, “The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announcement is long overdue, yet somewhat concerning, as the numerous human rights abuses and discriminatory policy and practices in immigrant detention are well documented. The truth is that the DHS’ private detention contracts have become a large part of our costly, failed immigration system, and the announcement does not state a commitment to ending this system. DHS should move swiftly to cancel its contracts with private prison corporations.”

Gonzalez concluded, “The review also gives DHS an opportunity to review their standards and reliance on detention altogether. To be effective, it should include community input, independent oversight, and ensure its scope contains the practices which put immigrants in detention facilities in the first place including the use of detention for transgender immigrants, mandatory detention guidelines, and the unreasonably high bonds set in immigration court.”

Petitions to DHS demanding it #CutTheContracts are located on action.mijente.net and colorofchange.com


Media Contacts: Tania Unzueta, Mijente/ Not1More, 773-387-3186, tania@mijente.net
Scott Roberts, Color of Change, scott.roberts@colorofchange.org

DOJ Announcement Exposes Little Known Immigrant Prisons, Should Prompt Further White House Action


The announcement today by the Department of Justice that it will not renew private prison contracts due to the disproportionate abuse and danger in those facilities, brings to light and should prompt further action within the criminal justice and immigrant detention systems.


It isn’t made immediately obvious that all but one private prison contracted by the Bureau of Prisons are facilities strictly dedicated to people serving time for immigration related offenses, a charge that now makes up almost 50% of federal prosecutions.


Jacinta Gonzalez of the #Not1More campaign, which has called for an end to immigration prosecutions and all detention, states, “The same Department of Justice that is closing these prison contracts is the one putting people into them by prosecuting them for re-entry or other immigration charges.” Taking issue with the Department’s claim that it cannot predict future prison populations, she states, “The solution is not to transfer these people from one facility to another, it’s to stop prosecuting them altogether.”

Willacy Prison rebellion

CAR Prison in Willacy, TX closed after prisoner rebellion over conditions and treatment

Jovana Rentería of Puente Arizona adds, “The cruelty the Department of Justice is acknowledging in private prisons is not an accident. Not only are they deporting us but they are caging us, assaulting us, and seeking to dehumanize us in the process. The abuse is part of an attrition and deterrent strategy. They want people to suffer. One way is to put them in private prisons where they face the abuse the DOJ admits to, another is to put them in private detention centers like Eloy where investigations never happen.”


Citing past experience like in Jena, Louisiana where a private youth facility was closed only to be reopened as an immigration detention center, advocates demand that other agencies, especially the Department of Homeland Security which oversees immigration detention follow suit. Gonzalez continues, “Until private incarceration and detention is ended all together, these facilities will just be recycled between agencies.  Private companies today will be looking for new customers and the Obama administration needs to make sure that no other government agency will be their clients.”


The DOJ decision should prompt the Department of Homeland Security, which is currently seeking to open a new private detention center in Texas for transgender detainees to follow suit and begin the process of dismantling its own detention apparatus. Isa Noyola of the Transgender Law Center adds, “Authorities’ statement that one center will be safer than another doesn’t address that the system of detention is an act of violence on transgender people who came to this country fleeing it. DHS should stop its plan to open a new private facility in Texas and stop its practice of detaining us altogether. We do not simply want the violence committed by a corporation to be inflicted on us by the state. We want transgender and LGBTQ to be free and for the systems that criminalize and cage us to be put to an end.”

The #Not1More Campaign has called for an end to all detention, public and private, citing abuses at the Santa Ana facility and the Berks Family Detention Center where mothers are in their second week of a hunger strike as evidence that the problem with detention goes beyond the profit motive and should be ended altogether.



Teachers Celebrate Wildin’s Upcoming Release, Demand Other Youth Be Freed

Durham, NC teachers celebrate the forthcoming release of Wildin Acosta and call for the immediate release of the remaining detained students and the dismantling of ICE

We, as members of the Durham Association of Educators, are writing today to lift up the importance of community-based organizing coupled with legal support. After 6 months in detention, our student Wildin Guillen Acosta is finally scheduled to come home to Durham. At the same time, at least 9 other NC and GA youth remain detained in Georgia and so we call for the immediate release of these young people.

Last night, Wildin’s lawyer confirmed that the Judge had cancelled the full bond hearing and granted the $10,000 stipulated bond without the hearing.

Read more

Day Laborers Charge Chicago ICE Director with Racial Profiling After Street Corner Raid


Organizations Seek Investigation in Civil Rights Violations, Answers from City of Chicago, and Immediate Release of Raided Workers

In response to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents under the direction of Chicago-based director, Ricardo Wong, profiling and raiding day laborers awaiting work on the corner of Milwaukee and Belmont, organizations are filing for an official investigation and demanding the immediate release and closing of cases for three workers taken in the operation. Read more

Sec. Johnson is Wrong on Immigration Policy

In response to the comments made by Sec. Johnson as reported by the Hill in which he defended family detention and rejected the growing demand for a moratorium on deportations, Marisa Franco of the #Not1More Campaign issued the following statement:

“Jeh Johnson was appointed to be a reformer of what the Administration admitted are inhumane immigration policies. Instead, he has become a defender of the indefensible.

For the Administration to reject the growing consensus for a moratorium on removals after the Supreme Court decision on DAPA shows a lack of imagination and lack of compassion.  For the Secretary to admit that it is punishing undocumented immigrants who are already part of our communities in order to send a message of deterrence shows the real cruelty behind current policy.

The Secretary is missing in his assessment that immigrant communities already are in a humanitarian crisis. It is caused by the policies he is defending. The President has unused authority and unfinished work to dismantle the deportation machine he built and bring humanity to its immigration policy before passing it along to his successor.”

More than 50,000 individuals have signed petitions calling for a moratorium on deportations in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.

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Addressing Labor at the Democratic National Convention, Demanding a #MoratoriumNow

Below is the speech given at the labor caucus at the Democratic National Convention by Olivia Vazquez from Juntos.


My name is Olivia Vazquez. I’m here as an undocumented immigrant and a youth organizer at Juntos. Even though I’m here to talk to you as a DACA recipient, I am also here to talk to you as someone from a family of workers and I want you to see me as that.

My mother has worked in restaurants for 15 years. Read more