To all of you who've tagged/messaged/texted me over the past few days: I'm humbled by your vote of confidence. I'm just a practitioner/advocate, but happy to offer some concrete steps. #CloseTheCampsNOW
Some context first:
Now, on to some concrete things. This a non-exhaustive list, so feel free to suggest other items I can incorporate:
Let's organize marches outside every immigrant detention center: this evil isn't just on the border. ICE wants interior enforcement?
So do we.
On the federal side: govtrack.us/congress/membe…
Demand they introduce legislation to ban private prisons and detention facilities (where the federal govt is the contracting party)
Mandate secure phone lines/document submission to/from detainees
Create a public immigration defender. (If criminals get a lawyer, so should detained immigrants. If it's not a criminal proceeding, then stop incarcerating them.)
Ban state from cooperating with ICE.
Refuse to honor detainers
Ban private prisons/detention centers (where state is the contracting party)
Raise the age for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status to 21 to be in line with federal law
Outlaw/tightly regulate usurious GPS ankle-bracelet monitoring companies who charge vulnerable immigrants exorbitant fees to track them under threat of incarceration
Transparency in law enforcement process of labeling people gang members
Massive coordinated FOIA effort to review every government contract with private prison/detention center companies such as Geo Group or CoreCivic.
Offense is the best defense here. We can't compromise on the backbone of democracy. But we're losing the war if we use their language, their terminology, their ideology. When we advocate, let's use our own positive framing:
Come as you are.
Humanity has intrinsic merit.
Compassion is strength.
Merit-based means privileged.
Border security means militarization.
Killing #dueprocess at the border is the real illegal immigration.
Immigration detention is incarceration.
Family residential centers are baby jails.
People are not a line item on a balance sheet.
Cruelty is weakness. Weakness of mind, weakness of intellect, weakness of policy.