Tacoma approves interim rule to block expansion of immigration detention center

Movement Building: Prison Divest & DAPL Divestment Campaigns

unnamedCreating Winning Dakota Access Pipeline Divestment Campaigns

Mar 7, 2017 8:00 PM EST Register to attend here.

This call will bring together organizers from successful and ongoing divestment campaigns, including leaders from the Seattle Wells Fargo Divestment Campaign. It will feature intersectional campaigns that center Indigenous sovereignty and prison abolition, among other issues. There will also be speakers who have faced foreclosure or been abused frontline bank workers. The speakers will share skills and resources that you can use in your cities or institutions and will include information on how to connect DAPL divestment to local divestment initiatives. Enlace will speak on how Portland efforts collaborated with #NoDAPL, #PrisonDivest, and #FreePalestine divestment movements.

Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws

Tens of thousands of immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were forced to work for $1 day, or for nothing at all — a violation of federal anti-slavery laws — a lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status this week after a federal judge’s ruling. That means the case could involve as many as 60,000 immigrants who have been detained.

It’s the first time a class-action lawsuit accusing a private U.S. prison company of forced labor has been allowed to move forward.

“That’s obviously a big deal; it’s recognizing the possibility that a government contractor could be engaging in forced labor,” said Nina DiSalvo, executive director of Towards Justice, a Colorado-based nonprofit group that represents low-wage workers, including undocumented immigrants. “Certification of the class is perhaps the only mechanism by which these vulnerable individuals who were dispersed across the country and across the world would ever be able to vindicate their rights.”

At the heart of the dispute is the Denver Contract Detention Facility, a 1,500-bed center in Aurora, Colo., owned and operated by GEO Group under a contract with ICE. The Florida-based corporation runs facilities to house immigrants who are awaiting their turn in court.

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Did companies’ donations buy a Trump change in private prison policy?

Detainees are shown resting on bunks inside the "B" cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash. The facility is operated by The GEO Group Inc. under contract from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Georgetown Committee Recommends Private Prison Divestment

Via The Hoya | By Toby Hung

The Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility plans to advise the board of directors to establish a policy of no direct investment in private prison companies and to avoid commingled funds with investments in private prison companies “to the maximum extent possible,” according to a memo published by the committee today.

CISR also concluded that divestment would not be effective in promoting a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The committee’s memo comes in response to a petition submitted by Eman Abdelfadeel (COL ’17), Sophia Bauerschmidt Sweeney (COL ’17) and Salma Khamis (SFS ’17) to Georgetown in October, which demanded that the university divest from private prison companies and companies that contribute to the “occupation of Palestine.” Read more on The Hoya’s Website

From a Day Without Immigrants to a City Without Fear #FreedomCities!

The “Freedom Cities” concept builds on “sanctuary city” policies, under which local governments order their agencies to refuse direct cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. As New York’s adherence to broken windows–style policing illustrates, however, the promise of “sanctuary” might amount to little more than a well-intentioned gesture as long as aggressive, racially polarizing police practices remain in place. In light of the escalation of federal crackdowns even in supposedly “immigrant-friendly” cities, the Freedom Cities campaign seeks more than a mandate of non-cooperation with federal authorities. It aims to build a more just, inclusive society from the neighborhood level up, through mutual aid, community protection, and long-term cultural change.

Basma Eid, a trainer with Enlace, a partner of the Worker Center Federation, says the inspiration for the campaign emerged from “workers themselves, who had been meeting regularly, building their leadership . . . they were the ones who were like, ‘This is the vision that we have.’” Worker centers, she says, offer a platform for members to air “really strong and important voices that are often being left out of the conversation around resistance,” since grassroots labor struggles tend to get sidelined in public discussions about Trump’s assaults on civil rights.

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Trump’s Deportation Plans Will Turn Cops Into Immigration Agents

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in Los Angeles in early Feburary.

Via Mother Jones | By Bryan Schatz

Donald Trump is quickly amassing the means to make good on his promise to deport millions of people from the United States. One of those tools is a federal program that enlists state and local cops and jail officials to identify people they believe may be undocumented immigrants. The Obama administration scaled down the program, in part due to criticism that it encouraged racial and ethnic profiling, created financial incentives to detain immigrants, and undermined relations between the police and immigrant communities. Now Trump is preparing to bring it back.

The program is known as 287(g) for the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996 that created it. It established “task force” agreements that allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deputize local and state law enforcement officers as immigration agents. The program gives these law enforcement officers the authority to stop, interrogate, and arrest anyone they believe to be unauthorized immigrants. It also gives deputized jail administrators access to immigration databases so they may refer undocumented immigrants to ICE for possible deportation. The 287(g) program enabled more than 175,000 deportations between 2006 and 2013, according to an analysis by the Marshall Project.

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