#Not1More Deportation

All posts tagged detention center

(Los Angeles, March 23, 2016) – Dozens of transgender women, including asylum seekers who have come to the United States seeking protection from abuse in their home countries, are locked up in jails or prison-like immigration detention centers across the country at any point in time, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Many have been subjected to sexual assault and ill-treatment in detention, while others are held in indefinite solitary confinement. [Read the full report here]

The 68-page report, “Do You See How Much I’m Suffering Here?’: Abuse against Transgender Women in US Immigration Detention,” documents 28 cases of transgender women who were held in US immigration detention between 2011 and 2015. More than half of the transgender women Human Rights Watch interviewed were held in men’s facilities at some point. Half also spent time in solitary confinement, in many cases allegedly for their protection. But solitary confinement is a form of abuse in and of itself, and many who had spent time there experienced trauma and profound psychological distress. Read more

“Immigrant integration doesn’t start with campaign promises. It starts with releasing the people who are starving for their freedom
in detention centers today.”

– Fahd Ahmed, Director of DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving

December 15, 2015 – New York City, NY
In the middle of her speech at the National Immigrant Integration Conference, Hillary Clinton was interrupted by several supporters of detainees who launched a hunger strike on Thanksgiving day with signs asking, “Do You Stand With Us?” and “People Are Starving for their Freedom.”  In recent weeks, the candidate has come under fire for not speaking directly to the question of the strikers’ indefinite detention.  A protest outside her office spurred both Sanders and O’Malley to cast their support to the strikers but Clinton’s campaign, despite representative Lorella Praelli listening to former strikers’ testimony during their protest outside.

Fahd Ahmed, director of DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving, says, “Future promises don’t speak to current crises.  Allies respond to cries for help and denounce abuse when its exposed and so far Clinton has done neither. We want her and every official to do their part to see to the end of torture in detention, the freedom of the hunger strikers, and the halt of their deportations.”

Started by 110 detainees and expanded to 150, 20 are continuing the strike at Krome, South Texas, and Aurora facilities at last count. Last week, supporters rallied at ICE as court documents exposed authorized force feeding of strikers and detainees reported ICE using torture tactics of sleep deprivation to try to break their whistleblowing.

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On Monday morning, 6 inmates at the Yuba County Jail also launched a hunger strike in solidarity with and joining the #freedomgiving strikes. While one of the strikers is a well-known immigrant detainee, Rajeshree Roy, the remaining 5 women are in general county custody, indicating the commonality of crisis in prisons and immigrant detention centers.

The women launching the hunger strike issued the following statement, “We are locked up together and refuse to be divided into immigrants and citizens. None of us belong in this cage separated from our families. We join the brave immigrant hunger strikers across the country in fasting to force recognition of our humanity.”

More details and background on the #Freedomgiving hunger strike available here:


Reports of Solitary Confinement and Medical Abuse Raise Concerns for Detainees’ Safety in Custody


November 30, 2015

Today three additional centers join what has become known as the #freedomgiving hunger strikes.  On the eve of Thanksgiving, 110+ men who came to the US seeking safety but instead have been held in detention for seven months to up to two years refused their meals and demanded their freedom at the Etowah, Theo Lacy, and Otay detention centers. Read more

More than 110 Asylum-seekers on Hunger Strike Across Three Facilities
After Months in Indefinite Detention

Sign to demand the release of hunger striking detainees.

Click Here to See Letter Sent to ICE in support of the strikers

To: ICE Director Sarah Saldaña

I am writing in support of immigrant detainees on hunger strike in multiple ICE facilities around the U.S. Instead of punishment and retaliation, ICE should immediately release them and investigate the conditions that caused their whistleblowing activity.

Thank you,


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On the eve of Thanksgiving, more than 100 men fleeing political violence and danger in their home countries who have been in detention for up to two years announced their rejection of meals and demand for their freedom.

One letter from a hunger striker from Bangladesh pleads, “Whenever I calling to my family they saying ‘we are always thinking of you then they starting to cry… I spent many months to come America for ask in this country help… but for my bad luck I loose everything… Please understanding my suffering words from your kind heart.”

In multiple cases, detainees continue to be held despite either passing their credible fear for asylum or their consulates refusing to issue their travel documents for removal.

Fahd Ahmed, director of Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) in New York and a primary supporter of the strikers, explains, “ICE is keeping these people in indefinite detention when they should be released. They came to this country seeking safety and instead have been placed behind bars to fill a detention bed quota for years at a time.”

Shahidul Islam, one of the hunger strikers in Theo Lacy Facility escaped Bangladesh after people affiliated with the ruling Awawi League threatened him and his father at gunpoint. The incident caused Shahidul’s father to have a fatal stroke on the spot. Before the confrontation, Shahidul had been arrested multiple times for his participation in the Bangladesh National Party, a mainstream opposition party in his home country.

At a moment when many people in the US will be gathering with their families and loved ones over meals, these detainees will be on hunger strike demanding to be united with their families and communities here.

The detainees in Theo Lacey, Otay, and Etowah Detention Centers issued the following demands:
1. End to all detentions and deportations
2. End to the ICE detention bed quotas
3. End to indefinite detention: Release on Parole or Supervision for all asylum seekers held for more than 6 months
4. Improved conditions in detention (discipline, food, clothing, access to phones, medical access)

Mahbubur, an asylum-seeker held in Etowah, Alabama, explains that some detainees have attempted suicide because of their treatment in custody and out of fear of being returned to persecution, “Not only in Alabama, many Bangladeshis are also passing miserable days in other detention centers across America. They came to the United States with a hope to get asylum, but as their asylum applications have been denied and they are under order of deportation, in that case if they are deported to Bangladesh the present government will persecute them accusing them of creating unrest or vandalism by bringing false charges against them. Many of us even attempted to commit suicide for fearing of the government retribution if deported. We appeal to the Department of Homeland Security and the government of the United Stated of America to consider our case on humanitarian ground and free us from this miserable detention. We want to live a honorable life and we would like to inform our families back home that we are in good condition in America.”

2015-11-26 strike letter

2015-11-26 strike-letter2

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Diverse coalition of activists risk arrest to stop immigrant deportations, call for immediate end to detentions
Community members lock down for what has become a global human rights issue

TACOMA (September 21, 2015) – Northwest Detention Center Resistance Coalition members locked down to protest deportations at the private facility.

Protesting the criminalization and scapegoating of immigrants, the protest highlights the moral injustice of privately-run for-profit detentions centers and their collaboration with local police departments creating a road to detention, and call for an end to all immigrant deportations and detentions.

“Ending immigrant deportations is absolutely an environmental issue,” said Got Green executive director Jill Mangaliman. Speaking from one of the road blockades. Jill added “I’m willing to be out here today because climate change is resulting in worsening drought and super-storm conditions which displace millions across the globe. These climate refugees will number 200 million by 2050. World leaders and communities across the U.S. need to end these unjust deportations and commit to policies that stop climate change.”

Jill is one of more than 20 people who had chained themselves together in metal and plastic containers that covered their arms. These “lockboxes” make it difficult for law enforcement authorities to separate and arrest the protestors. Together, these locked teams blocked the three roadways leading from the detention center.

Protesters also came to the action to offer moral support to the human blockade. Members of the Trans and/or Women’s Action Camp carried a sign protesting ICE’s controversial practice of placing transgender detainees in solitary confinement. While transgender women only make up 1 out of 500 detained immigrants in this country, they make up an alarming 1 out of every 5 confirmed sexual assaults in immigration detention.

Undocumented immigrant and parent Maru Mora-Villalpando was also a part of the human chain, along with her U.S.-born daughter Josefina Mora. She, like many of her fellow protestors, sees the day’s goal as not only to prevent that day’s immigrant deportations, but also to call attention to the local “lockup” quota – a contractual provision that obligates Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to pay for a minimum of 800 immigration detention beds daily to the GEO Group, the private prison corporation that runs the facility. The quota, referred to in contracts as “guaranteed minimums,” requires payment to private contractors whether beds are filled or not, and ICE faces considerable pressure to keep the beds at the detention center full.

“The government could close these detention centers today and end the practice of corporations profiting from imprisoning human beings, ensure all its residents have access to quality food and healthy homes, and change its international policies to create fair trade for people and the planet, People should not be forced to migrate, and those already here should be allowed to remain with their families and communities,” said Maru from the locked line.

Participants of the protest include Rising Tide Seattle, the Raging Grannies, and other groups fighting for climate justice, economic justice, reproductive justice, worker rights and more.


“The nations that caused this crisis have a basic obligation to welcome migrants with open arms. We must create a world where safety and justice are more important than arbitrary borders. If we can’t find a way to welcome and support migration in a rapidly warming world, dystopia awaits us. In the climate-disrupted world we will inherit a militarized border and abusive gulag system can only grow into an even more violent police state.”


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May 28, 2015 – Santa Ana, CA – Five LGBTQ and Immigrant rights leaders have taken over intersection of Flower and Civic Center, near the detention center in Santa Ana that holds transgender detainees, in a protest risking arrest to demand an immediate end to detention and deportation, starting with releasing undocumented transgender women.

After being questioned directly about the topic, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton echoed the #Not1More LGBTQ Deportation campaign’s demand to end the detention of transgender immigrants, saying, “I do not think we should put children and vulnerable people into detention facilities because I think they are at risk. Their physical and mental health are at risk.”

Protest organizers today are saying ‘If Clinton can promise it, President Obama can do it now.’

They cite the experience of formerly detained protest participants as well as recent reports exposing the epidemic of violence against undocumented Trans detainees under Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s watch in detention centers around the country as a crisis that needs immediate action. Rogue practices on behalf of ICE include incarcerating Trans women at all male facilities where they are subject to sexual assault and harassment, denying them hormone medication, and through deportation that returns them to situations of likely violence that often spurred their original journey to the US for safety.

Isa Noyola, who is risking arrest, says: “For too long our communities have been experiencing oppression through its immigration system. With each presidential administration advocates rally and push for reform measures and some lose sight of the broader vision for liberation. We are here today to uplift these broader demands of liberation; an end to detention centers and the criminalization of our transgender, gender non-conforming and queer communities. Trans women today are at the frontlines and showing up for our communities because our lives are on the line.”


Tacoma, WA – Jose Moreno, newly released hunger strike leader, spoke publicly about conditions inside the Northwest Detention Center and the reasons for the hunger strike. Speaking at a press conference just outside of cement walls that separated him from his family he said, “It’s really sad to see families being separated every day and people are tired of this.” Read more

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Just now, protestors chained themselves in front of the Eloy Detention Center. Their action calls on the President to stop deportations and the criminalization of immigrants. Through civil disobedience they say they’re exposing the inhumane imprisonment at the center of current immigration policy and the needless warehousing of the undocumented who could benefit from reform.

Many of those inside Eloy have committed no major offense and instead are victims of Congress’ 34,000 minimum detention bed mandate and the profiling of Sheriffs like Arpaio and Border Patrol required to fulfill the arbitrary quota. Read more