Don’t Allow Immigration to Detain People for Years

Target: L. Francis Cissna, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Goal: Ensure people going through deportation aren’t allowed to be left in immigration detention centers for years.

Olusegun Olatunji was found selling counterfeit hats in an Indianapolis mall. When caught, immigration found out that Olatunji overstayed his work visa 30 years ago. The Nigerian native was then detained and awaited deportation—this was in 2014.

Olatunji has been in and out of six immigration detention centers and experienced an ongoing stay at a county jail in Alabama. People have named this area of Alabama the “black hole” because it can take months, even years, to resolve complicated deportation cases. The average length that immigration holds people is 34 days, and then they are either released or deported. This process is already heartbreaking; it doesn’t need to be prolonged, especially when people are kept in jails and detention centers while awaiting their fate. Demand that immigration no longer be allowed to detain people for an absurd amount of time.


Dear Mr. Cissna,

Immigration is already an agonizing process; it doesn’t need to be made even harder by prolonging their deportation or release. Olusegun Olatunji has spent years in and out of detention centers and a county jail. He has a family at home that is tortured by waiting for his fate. He wanted to provide for his family and help pave the way for his 15-year-old son’s future and college education.

Olatunji committed a crime, but that doesn’t mean his human rights should be violated to this extent. There have been many cases such as Olatunji’s in which people have spent months or years waiting to learn if they are being deported and taken away from their families. A smoother process needs to be put into place. People should not have to spend prolonged amounts of time in detention centers while scared for their lives. We demand that these cases be reviewed promptly and immigration not be allowed to hold detainees for years.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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  1. Gen Agustsson says:

    ice is racist.

  2. lynn woods says:

    no put them on a boat and send them home

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