The immigration detention system in the United States has grown drastically over the last 15 years and the appalling conditions in the detention centers that house immigrants have reached a tipping point.
President Obama made promises to reform this inhumane system in 2009, but the reality on the ground has not changed. Now, conditions at the jails and prisons that house immigrants have gotten so bad, the only option is to begin shutting them down.
On Thursday, November 15th, as part of a nationwide campaign launch, community leaders and advocates will release a report, designating the Hudson County jail as one of the ten worst immigrant prisons in the country and detailing the widespread pattern of abuse there. Leaders will call on President Obama to end the contract with the county jail in Kearny, NJ, and issue a list of reforms to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of immigrants held in detention.
Among the report’s findings:
• Lack of access to necessary medical services and life-saving medication;
• Degrading and harmful treatment by corrections officers.
• Lack of access to any type of outdoor or recreational space;.
Camille Mackler and Lindsay Curcio, from the New York Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said that “the conditions we observed at the Hudson County Jail raised serious concerns for the health, safety, and mental welfare of those detained by immigration authorities within its walls. As we push for more humane and just immigration laws, it is important to remember the plight of those immigrants who are hidden away in facilities such as the Hudson County Jail, and who have even less of a voice as a result.”
This report release in New York, NY, is part of a series of reports and coordinated effort to highlight ten detention centers across the nation that exemplify the appalling conditions of immigrant detention, Etowah County Detention Center (AL), Pinal County Jail (AZ), Houston Processing Center (TX), Polk County Detention Facility (TX), Stewart Detention Center (GA), Irwin County Jail (GA), Hudson County Jail (NJ), Theo Lacy Detention Center (CA), Tri-County Detention Center (IL), and Baker County Jail (FL).