Report: The Expansion and Failed Reform of Immigration Detention in New Jersey

New Jersey Advocates Release Report Denouncing Conditions in

Essex County Immigration Detention Facilities

Newark, NJ – New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees* and the NYU School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic will release a comprehensive report on immigration detention in Essex County.  The report, “Immigration Incarceration:  The Expansion and Failed Reform of Immigration Detention in Essex County, NJ,” takes a hard look at the results of the expansion of immigration detention in Essex County and will be released on March 23, 2012 at a conference on immigration detention issues at Rutgers—Newark Center for Law & Justice.** A full copy of the report is available online at Continue reading


Conference on Immigration Detention System

Conference on Immigration Detention System

Immigrant Detainees: Alone, Unrepresented & Imprisoned
A joint conference of Rutgers School of Law–Newark, Seton Hall Law School, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and New York University School of Law.

Featuring keynote speaker U.S. Senator Robert Menendez ’79.

March 23, 2012, 8 am – 5:30 pm
Rutgers School of Law–Newark

To register for the conference, click here. To download the conference brochure, click here. Continue reading

Video: Wells Fargo Is Not Our Friend!

The Human Stories Behind the Immigration Detention Contract

Via IRATE & First Friends Since Essex County signed its contract with ICE to expand immigration detention to 1250 people this past fall, Essex County has been in the news.   Not just for the shady back doors deals and political contributions from the private for-profit company that received the immigration detention subcontract but also for the suffering that this contract is causing to local residents and their families.

In October, there was the story of Neida Lavayen whose fiance was taken into custody one week before their wedding and held at Delaney Hall until he was deported to Ecuador. Continue reading



Kathy O’Leary, Pax Christi NJ, 973-610-1684, 
Sally Pillay, IRATE & First Friends, 201-394-9093, 
Br.John Skrodinsky(English & Spanish), 973-896-0444,


Pilgrims To March from Ellis Island in Liberty State Park to the Elizabeth Detention Center for the 3rd Consecutive Year on Ash Wednesday.

Jersey City, NJ– Beginning at 10 am on Wednesday, February 22, members from over two dozen faith based, community and immigrant rights groups, including members from Pax Christi NJ, IRATE & First Friends, American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program- Newark and NJ Advocates for Immigrant Detainees, will gather in Liberty State Park, just off Freedom Way, in front of the footbridge to Ellis Island for a press conference and prayer service before beginning a 12 mile “pilgrimage” that will end at theElizabethDetentionCenter. Continue reading

For Sandals & Silver – 3rd Annual Pilgrimage from Ellis Island to the EDC

For Sandals & Silver
“Because they hand over the just for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; they trample the heads of the destitute into the dust of the earth, and force the lowly out of the way. “ Amos 2: 6-7

Beginning with a prayer service & press conference At 10:00 am at Freedom Way (Liberty State Park), Jersey City, NJ on Wednesday February 22nd

Ending with a prayer service and distribution of ashes at the Gates of the Elizabeth Detention Center 625 Evans St., Elizabeth, NJ

Join us as we walk 12 miles from the footbridge at Ellis Island (a powerful symbol of our nation’s history of welcoming immigrants), to the barbed wire fences at the gates of the Elizabeth Detention Center. Approximately 2000 immigrants are currently being held in NJ in the Elizabeth Detention Center and local county jails. The number of immigrants being held in NJ continues to rise because there is money to be made from incarcerating people. County jails receive reimbursement from the federal government at a higher rate than it costs to house immigrant detainees and private companies like Corrections Corp of America and Community Education Centers profit from their contracts with the counties and with the federal government. Further, banks like Wells Fargo profit from their investments in these private companies.

Sponsored By IRATE & First Friends & Pax Christi NJ

co-sponsored by: AFSC Immigrant Rights Program – Newark, Wind of the Spirit

For more information, to sign up to walk, or to co-sponsor contact Kathy O’Leary 908-273-0751

Ash Wednesday Vigil at the Elizabeth Detention Center

Ash Wednesday Vigil at the Elizabeth Detention Center

Wednesday February 22nd from 6pm- 9pm

Corner of Dowd Ave & Evans Street, Elizabeth, NJ

Again this year we will welcome the pilgrims who will be coming from Ellis Island to meet and pray with us as we seek restoration of humanity to our immigration system. These pilgrims will join with us in an ecumenical service at the detention center to pray for the release of our incarcerated neighbors. Ashes will be distributed to those wishing them.

Following the vigil, participants will be welcomed to a Lenten Soup Supper at the St Joseph Social Center, 118 Division Street, Elizabeth. Here you can meet with your concerned neighbors and hear a brief message about justice for immigrants.
Please plan to come with your family, friends and neighbors and bring candles, real or electric. Click here for facebook event