THREAD: A year ago, we worked with #OITNB to provide an accurate portrayal of life inside a detention center. They featured our hotline on the show’s 7th season. Two weeks after the show’s premiere, ICE shut down our hotline. Today, that retaliation ends. #OrangeForever Image
We are filing a lawsuit in federal court against DHS and ICE to reinstate our free hotline in immigrant detention centers nationwide. We will also seek a preliminary injunction to have the hotline put back into place and to direct ICE to stop retaliating against @MigrantFreedom
Many don’t know this, but immigrants in ICE custody do not have access to a free phone call. Private phone companies such as Talton Telecommunications profit off of high phone call rates, which is why people can't afford to connect with their families and attorneys.
Our pro bono hotline is a lifeline for hundreds of people in detention. The Hotline received up to 14,500 calls per month w/a large uptick in calls after the 2016 election. The hotline is used to report abuses & provide individualized support to people in detention.
Investigations like our report on hate, which put the full-extent of ICE’s hate crimes against immigrants on display, wouldn’t have been possible without our hotline.
freedomforimmigrants.org/report-on-hate
Without the pro bono platform, it has been extremely expensive to maintain the hotline. We have spent upwards of $15,000 on phone calls and staff expenses since the hotline was shut down in August.
The hotline shutdown is the most recent act in a years-long pattern of retaliatory harassment & interference with FFI’s work. Last month, ICE suspended an FFI visitation program at the @etowahcounty Detention Center less than 2 days after FFI members & others held a rally outside
Today we've also obtained a letter from over 100 men at Etowah detailing the conditions they face in detention as well as how much they miss the visitation program.

freedomforimmigrants.org/news/2019/12/1…
The bottom line is ICE is trying to punish immigrants in detention and our organization because we are unveiling to the world what it is really like to be in ICE custody.

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More from @MigrantFreedom

May 28, 2021
📢Now is the time to end New York’s complicity with immigrant detention! 🧵 thread + 📝 statement from 75+ groups on why we need to pass the #DignityNotDetention Act:

freedomforimmigrants.org/policy-updates…
COVID-19 exacerbated the dangers of ICE detention, which has *always* been inhumane. 2020 was the deadliest year in detention since ‘05, with 21 deaths - and over 10K COVID cases. #DignityNotDetention
People in ICE detention in New York state have reported lack of PPE & hygienic materials, and the use of solitary confinement as “quarantine” - total lack of basic public health. #DignityNotDetention
Read 9 tweets
May 17, 2021
ICE is seeking to expand detention in NY. It’s up to us to end ICE contracts in NY by passing #DignityNotDetention @NYSA_Majority @NYSenDems

What exactly does this bill do? Read thread ⬇️:
1. #DignityNotDetention prohibits NY State government from entering into immigration detention contracts & prohibits them from receiving any payments related to immigration detention.
2. #DignityNotDetention prohibits New York state from renewing any existing immigration detention contracts.
Read 4 tweets
Feb 22, 2021
BREAKING: Freedom for Immigrants and 9 partner orgs submitted a civil rights complaint against the Glades County Detention Center in Florida. Link to the full CRCL in comments. freedomforimmigrants.org/news/shut-down…
With 25 testimonies, it details atrocities happening inside Glades, including: ICE’s failures to follow court orders to release individuals; retaliation for protests and public reporting; use of toxic chemical spray in enclosed spaces; hospitalizations, deaths, and disappearances
The complaint demands ICE terminate its contract with Glades County and immediately release all people detained at the facility.
Read 4 tweets
Feb 10, 2021
BREAKING:

Our National Detention Hotline received a disturbing call from a Black immigrant in an ICE prison who had experienced physical abuse at the hands of the guards.

Hotline volunteers acted quickly to file a civil rights complaint on his behalf.
In an interview, our Director of Visitation Advocacy Strategies, Sofia Casini, highlighted the connection between the abuse of Black immigrants in ICE prison with abuse at the hands of law enforcement.
Casini stated, "Our nation just went through a year of examining the ways people in authority harm Black people while claiming, 'I was at risk. This person was a threat' — people who are Black and unarmed and at their mercy."
Read 8 tweets
Feb 3, 2021
BREAKING: We @MigrantFreedom @AlOtroLado_Org @_AIRLegal_ & Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention have filed a civil rights complaint against @ICEgov & @LaSalleCorr‘s use of force in Louisiana to coerce immigrants into signing deportation papers. freedomforimmigrants.org/crcl/2021/2/2/…
The complaint was submitted on behalf of 3 Cameroonian asylum seekers at Winn Correctional Center who were physically assaulted, choked, beaten and handcuffed in attempts to force their signatures.

The full complaint is available here: static1.squarespace.com/static/5a33042…
One of the men has tested positive for COVID and another has been exposed to COVID. All 3 face life-threatening consequences if deported to Cameroon. #FreeThemAll #BlackLivesMatter
Read 6 tweets
Jan 26, 2021
This morning, we @ Freedom for Immigrants and @DetentionWatch Network delivered a letter to @POTUS on behalf of 217 groups demanding President Biden address COVID-19 inside immigration detention by releasing everyone within the first 100 days #FreeThemAll

freedomforimmigrants.org/news/freethema…
Our organization has documented at least
199 instances of retaliation at 49 detention facilities since the onset of the pandemic, underscoring the systemic nature of this abuse. You can follow our up-to-date COVID-19 reporting at freedomforimmigrants.org/covid19
Throughout the pandemic, the average length of detention has increased–meaning that people are trapped in prolonged detention in these lethal conditions. As a result, FY 2020 was the deadliest year in ICE detention since 2005, with 21 reported deaths, eight due to
COVID.
Read 4 tweets

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