Don’t Allow Indefinite Detention of Immigrants

Target: David Neal, Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review

Goal: Protect immigrants from recent SCOTUS ruling by ensuring each detainee gets a bond hearing.

The US Supreme Court ruled on June 13, 2022, that immigrants detained within the United States are not entitled to a bond hearing – this means thousands of people currently locked up can continue to be held indefinitely in immigration detention centers.

This ruling, and the practice of indefinitely detaining immigrants, is an appalling miscarriage of justice. People currently locked up in detention centers have not been charged with a crime, nor do they have the right to a hearing addressing their detention. This is worsened by the fact that, unlike individuals who have been charged with crimes, immigrants in detention do not have a right to legal representation. Most people detained do not have access to legal counsel – as TIME reports, only 21% of detainees have such access.

The actual conditions of immigration detention centers significantly worsen this abusive practice. These centers are thoroughly prison-like as standalone facilities, but increasingly people are actually detained within federal or state jails. According to NOLO – a legal resource open to the public – once detained, individuals often find themselves handcuffed and in a jumpsuit. Privacy, personal space, and the ability to move freely are severely limited and those who are detained are frequently dehumanized by guards, being referred to only by their “bed number” or “alien registration number.” As a reminder, the people detained in this manner have not been charged with a crime.

According to the AP, as recently as May 2022, individuals being held in the ICE detention center in Tacoma, WA were on a hunger strike protesting unsanitary conditions within the facility and increased concern of another COVID wave. Such hunger strikes to protest living conditions within immigration detention centers are not uncommon occurrences.

Call upon the Justice Department, specifically the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review David Neal, to address these abusive practices and protect immigrants from indefinite detention in squalid facilities by ensuring every detainee gets a bond hearing.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Neal,

On June 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that people detained in immigration facilities do not have the right to a bond hearing. This effectively enables the indefinite detention of immigrants in these centers.  This is a barbaric miscarriage of justice.

Those who are being detained in immigration detention centers have not been charged with a crime, and do not have the right to (or access to) the legal representation necessary to combat their indefinite detention.

Immigrants are detained in facilities which are either prison-like and restrict their liberties and diminish their humanity, or they are detained in literal jails. Worse still, the facilities where immigrants are detained are often unsanitary and unsafe – as demonstrated by a recent hunger strike protesting these conditions in the Tacoma, WA ICE detention center. You must take urgent action to address these abusive practices and ensure immigrants cannot be detained indefinitely.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: BBC World Service


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