CONTACT: Jennifer Piper, jpiper@afsc.org

 

“Dignity, Not Detention" Campaign Continues

Demands Halt to Expansion of the U.S. Immigration Detention System

 

People of Faith Demand President Obama take immediate action to stop human rights abuses

occurring under the U.S. enforcement and detention regime

 

April 5, 2010 – Over the last eleven months, hundreds of people have participated in interfaith vigils at the GEO immigrant detention center in Aurora asking for an end to ineffective, costly and unjust detention.

 

Today, more than a hundred people will gather to hear immigrant testimony about conditions in GEO and to pray together.  The issue of detention has become more pressing as recent news reports demonstrate the lack of accountability and structure in the detention system, as the Obama administration continues to detain more people each day, as ICE officials are once again engaging in workplace raids, and as the cost to taxpayers of detaining people continues to skyrocket.

 

Over 300,000 immigrants a year are detained in a secretive web of 350 private, federal, state and local jails, and prisons at an annual cost of more than $1.7 billion to taxpayers.  The GEO center in Aurora, CO is estimated to cost taxpayers close 1.8 million dollars a year.

 

Over eighty percent of detained immigrants go through the immigration system with no lawyer. Immigrants can be detained for months or years without any meaningful judicial review of whether they should be released.  While detained, immigrants face horrific prison conditions, including mistreatment by guards, solitary confinement, the denial of medical attention and limited or no access to their families, lawyers and the outside world.   In many cases, these conditions have proven fatal: since 2003, a reported 107 people have died in immigration custody. 

 

WHAT:    Interfaith Vigil and Rally to close the GEO Detention Facility, Facts about Detention in Colorado, Prayer, Song                                                                                                                     

WHEN:    April 5th, 2010 6:00-7:00pm

WHERE: 30th Avenue and Peoria Street

WHO:      This month’s vigil is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee. Supporting congregations and groups include Iglesia del Cristo El Shaddai, Members of Comunidad Liberación, 10:30 Catholic Community, St. Andrews’ United Methodist Church, , Grey Robed Monks of St Benedict, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, Comite Defensa del Pueblo, Rights for All People, Coloradans for Immigrant Rights

 

The American Friends Service Committee carries out service, development, social justice, and peace programs throughout the world. The work of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) with immigrant communities is based on our belief in the worth and inherent dignity of every person. For more information go to http://www.afsc.org/denver/ or http://coloradansforimmigrantrights.blogspot.com/  

 

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