Campaign Updates

ENLACE-POSTER_outline_campaign11x85The Prison Divestment Campaign began in 2011 from the need to launch a comprehensive strategy to decriminalize immigrants and people of color, end detention, end mass incarceration, and demilitarize the border. It was not only Politicians that we needed to target, but also Private Prisons and Wall Street who were the other powerful force behind mass incarceration, the police state, immigrant detention, and deportation. The Campaign has since expanded, looking at how the private prison industry works to divide communities of color. We are building strong multiracial coalitions, emphasizing Black and Brown unity, to combat mass incarceration and immigration enforcement. We are working to divest from criminalization and incarceration, and demand reparations and reinvestment in our communities.

Enlace brings together organizations working on immigrant rights, criminal justice, another social justice groups to end mass incarceration and achieve legalization for all immigrants. For additional information visit Enlace’s webpage

Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, Deportations & Detention

2016 Week of Action

Click here for a listing of all the actions this week and to sign the petition to End Tax Breaks for Prisons

Could Portland Lead the Way for Cities Nationwide to Divest From the Dakota Pipeline and Private Prisons?

Protesters with Lifted Voices and The American Indian Center rally in solidarity with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock outside a CitiBank in Chicago, Illinois, during a national day of action last week. Activists across the country are closing accounts with banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline and urging state and local governments to do the same.

Protestors with Lifted Voices and The American Indian Center rally in solidarity with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock outside a CitiBank in Chicago, IL during a national day of action last week. Activists across the country are closing accounts with banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline and urging state and local governments to do the same. Photo: Kelly Hayes/ Lifted Voices

Via TruthOut | By Mike Ludwig

Not long after returning home from the Dakota Access pipeline protests at Standing Rock, Oregon resident Ali Pullen was testifying before the Portland City Council in an effort to dump several large corporations from the city’s list of contractors and investment interests.

Pullen, who had traveled to Standing Rock with a delegation of people of color from Portland, specifically testified about Caterpillar, a major construction contractor for Dakota Access, and Wells Fargo, one of 17 banks financing a pipeline that activists are now risking life and limb to stop.

“When investment decisions affect the drinking water of 17 million people, [the pipeline] will not only affect these vulnerable Native tribes, it will impact our local community,” Pullen said at the hearing on Thursday.

Divestment is not a new strategy; opponents of mountain top removal mining and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, for example, have targeted banks and contractors for years. Now the tactic of putting financial pressure on investors and profiteers is finding new life in the movement centered in Standing Rock, especially as activists who can’t make it to North Dakota look for ways to support the Water Protectors camped out there.      Continue reading

BREAKING: Texas court blocks licensing of family detention camps as childcare facilities

AUSTIN, Texas — In a major victory for detained asylum seeking mothers and their children, an Austin judge Friday issued a final judgment effectively preventing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) from issuing child care licenses to the nation’s two largest family detention centers — the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas and the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas.

Late Friday afternoon Judge Karin Crump of the 250th District Court invalidated the Texas regulation that allowed for the licensure of Karnes and Dilley. According to the court, the regulation allowing for licensing of family detention centers “contravenes Texas Human Resources Code § 42.002(4) and runs counter to the general objectives of the Texas Human Resources Code.”  The regulation would have also authorized licensure without compliance with fundamental state minimum standards that ordinarily apply to child care facilities — including a standard prohibiting children from sharing bedrooms with unrelated adults.

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The Private Deportation Machine

A protest outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Wisconsin in 2014. Joe Brusky

Via Jacobin | By Karina Moreno

Deportation has become a billion-dollar industry. Between the second quarter of 2014 and 2015, Corrections Corporations of America’s (CCA) earnings leaped by $49 million. A single CCA facility in Dilley, Texas generated $100 million in the first half of 2015 alone.

CCA can thank desperate asylum seekers from Central America for their success; the border surge motivated the Obama administration to award it a billion-dollar deal to build a family detention center for women and infants.

This is all made possible because Congress mandates that immigration enforcement fill a daily quota of beds. CCA and the GEO Group have become the two largest private contractors. The profit motive directly compromises the judicial system, as these companies are incentivized to detain as many people for as long as possible. As a result, the private deportation machine gets rich from impoverished immigrants by violating their basic rights.

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New Report: Private Prisons Fail to Ensure Safety and Dignity of Immigrants Held in their Facilities

A new report, A Toxic Relationship: Private Prisons and U.S. Immigration Detention, released today by Detention Watch Network (DWN) builds on the overwhelming evidence that the privatization of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention exacerbates due process violations, egregious conditions and transparency concerns that are endemic to the immigration detention system. In addition, the report amplifies the experiences of 42 individuals who were or are held in privately-run detention centers.

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Homeland Security Panel Rejects Reliance on Private Prisons to House Immigrants

A guard escorts an immigrant detainee from a segregation cell back into the general population at the Adelanto Detention Facility on Nov. 15, 2013 in Adelanto, Calif. The 1,100-inmate facility is managed by GEO Group.

Via US News | By Alan Neuhauser

 An advisory council to the Department of Homeland Security rejected the key section of a report Thursday that suggested that surging numbers of immigrants facing deportation will all but force federal authorities to continue relying on privately run detention facilities.

The vote stunned civil rights groups, who earlier in the day issued statements expressing disappointment with the findings of the report, released earlier Thursday afternoon.

Members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council voted to uphold other sections of the report calling for greater oversight and monitoring of immigration detention facilities. But more than three-quarters of the panel’s members voted to support a dissent that was included in the report, in which one of the authors criticized “the conclusion that reliance on private prisons should, or inevitably must, continue.”

 

The report was the result of a two-month investigation by a six-member subcommittee made up of former law enforcement leaders, legal experts and advocates. It was formed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson after the Justice Department announced in August that it would phase out its use of privately run prisons due in part to safety and security concerns.

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Launch of Community Defense and Hate-Free Zones in NYC

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-1-51-07-pmIn this period of uncertainty and attacks on many of our communities (immigrants, Black, Muslim, LGBTQ, women, Latino, workers, youth, and many others), it is more critical than ever that our communities come to the forefront of leading the fights internally within our own communities, and in partnership with other communities.

Please join us this Friday, December 2nd, for the launch of a community defense and “hate-free zone” in Queens. RSVP on Facebook!

We need to have average, everyday people see that our own communities can do something without relying solely on elected officials to defend and protect us. We can recall the successes of the immigrant rights movement from a decade ago when our communities took to the streets in millions across the country to not only protect ourselves from racism and xenophobia, but to also defeat the racist, backward 2006 Sensenbrenner bill that would have criminalized undocumented people and their allies. We are now reliving a similar moment in history. The call to action must be answered with thoughtfulness and urgency if we are to push back against the attacks by the incoming Trump administration.
We are inviting you to join us on Friday, December 2nd for an action here in Jackson Heights with a press conference, rally and march through the heart of communities in Queens, that have a special place in NY and the country as being diverse and having a large immigrant, Muslim, LGBTQ, Latino communities and all largely working class. These are all frontline communities who are looking for ways to come together to defend themselves and gain mutual support for the days to come. We hope this action will help jumpstart similar efforts in immigrant neighborhoods in the city and nationwide to declare our neighborhoods as “Hate-Free Zones”

The US must stop using private prisons

Activists approach a detention facility during an immigration rally and march in Lumpkin, Georgia [EPA]

Activists approach a detention facility during an immigration rally and march in Lumpkin, GA [EPA]

Via AlJazeera | by Azadeh Shahshahani
Before the recent elections, it looked like the United States was on its way to do away with private prisons.

In August, the US Department of Justice announced that it is cutting ties with prison corporations, stating: “They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and … they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.”

Subsequently, and following sustained advocacy by human rights organizations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to follow suit, Jeh Johnson announced that DHS will also review its continued reliance on private corporations.

After all this controversy, one of the prison companies, the former Corrections Corporation of America’s (CCA), even changed its name to CoreCivic in an attempt to “rebrand” itself. 

But once Donald Trump was announced the winner of the presidential election, there was no longer a need for rebranding.

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