Friday, October 9, 2009

Stories from Detention: A Six-Week Series

Welcome to "Stories from Detention," a six-week blog series examining the U.S. immigration detention system and exploring possibilities for humane reforms.

Detention is an aspect of the U.S. immigration system that, for all the attention it receives in the media, is not well understood. Anti-immigrant rhetoric creates the impression that detention is less problematic than it really is. Detention facilities themselves are often located in rural areas, away from the public eye. Immigrants held in detention facilities are often unable to tell their own stories because of the conditions of their confinement.

However, since the United States will detain over 440,000 people in 2009, it's worth a closer look.

In this series, every Friday I will post a short video in which a former detainee tells his or her story of experiencing detention. Each video will be accompanied by information about different aspects of the U.S. immigration detention system. At the end of each post, I will offer concrete steps that Congress and the Obama administration could take to reform each component of the detention system.

As you read these posts and watch the videos, keep in mind that these detainees' stories are not exceptional. Rather, they are indicative of system-wide injustices that must be corrected in order to restore the U.S. traditions of justice and equality.

Solutions to the current situation could be at hand in the near future. Members of Congress will soon be introducing legislation to reform how immigration works in the United States. Bills specifically on detention reform are already making their way through the House and Senate. The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it intends to overhaul the detention system. Will all these changes become a reality?

Your participation in this process is key. This is an issue that affects everyone -- not just immigrants and their families. Once you willingly put up with someone else's rights being taken away, you expose yourself to the possibility that one day soon, yours will be restricted as well.

Listen to these immigrants' stories, share this series with your loved ones and people in your community committed to immigration reform, and let's work together to create a future with dignity and fairness for all people, regardless of immigration status.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone must be warned before coming to the United States. Even if you have a visa, you are putting yourself at risk of Homeland Security ICE officers. I have a best friend that is from Paris France here on an education visa to finish his degree. He has been here since 2005. His visa is valid until March of 2010, His passport is valid until 2014, and his I-20 is current. He is not illegal. In 2008 He fell in love and married a U.S. citizen that just happens to be addicted to Prescription medications, He knew nothing about this. But he was arrested due to her mistakes. He was placed in detention, scheduled for deportation. He has been in detention center in Pompano Beach Florida for 5 months now. All this because of her mistakes. She should be the one in jail not him. Please everyone coming to America. Think twice. This couple has lost all there savings on lawyers, she lost her job, and they are in the process of losing there home. All this was caused because ICE has the wrong person in jail. They make up any story they want and when they are questioned about it you get nowhere. I have written many letters to Janet Napolitano, Senator Bill Nelson, and even President Obama. But no one will listen to the truth. So please people think twice about coming to America for any reason. Our immigration system is broken ….they all agree, but you put your life at risk when you enter our borders. Even if you follow the rules you may also lose everything as this couple has. No one will listen, no one cares.