RAICES Profile picture
24 Feb, 14 tweets, 4 min read
There's a lot of talk & uncertainty around "Emergency Reception Centers" for children like Carrizo Springs & Homestead opening up again under the Biden Administration.

So let's walk through what all of this actually means for immigrant children at our border.

A thread 🧵⤵️
This move represents a chilling continuity of Trump's attitudes towards immigrants & reinforces the notion that immigrants—including unaccompanied children—are less than human & should be warehoused away from the general population instead of being reunited w/relatives in the US.
FACT: The facilities run by @HHSGov & the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) ARE better than those run by ICE or CBP.

CAVEAT: The Trump Admin showed us that the HHS/ORR system could be weaponized against immigrants.

Think family separation under the Zero Tolerance policy.
How did this happen, you ask?

1⃣ These "emergency" centers provided the gov't with the ability to separate families by providing a safe place to send the separated children to, with the excuse that they were far better off there than with their parents/guardians.
2⃣The HHS/OOR system shared info given to them by the children in their custody (about their potential sponsors in the U.S.) with ICE, who then used that information to conduct enforcement activities a.k.a. deporting people.
We're not saying the Biden Admin will follow 45's footsteps, but the system that permitted these atrocities is still very much in place.

Nice(er) facility or not, a jail (cage, tent or building) is still a jail & the horrors of detention are meant to be a deterrent to migration.
And because places like Carrizo are temporary in nature, children are often held in conditions that aren’t equivalent to other ORR detention centers, which already have a history of well-reported abuses, including sexual harassment and a lack of proper background checks.
FACT: Children are meant to be held in emergency reception centers for short periods of time.

CAVEAT: From our experience working at these places, we know kids are sometimes held for longer periods of time & often have to start their immigration cases while detained.
To make things clear:

Most unaccompanied children in detention have relatives in the U.S. to which they can be released to while their immigration case plays out.

These detention facilities are not their safeguard from the world.
What most folks don't know and the thing that’s particularly bad about the HHS/ORR system is that, although children are kept in so-called “protective environments” while at places like Carrizo, they are - in fact - being processed for deportation by @DHSgov & @TheJusticeDept.
They, not @HHSGov, are the ones truly in charge of what happens to these kids & they do everything possible to deport them before they can reunite w/family in the U.S.

It's easy to see metal cages; but these kids will be locked in paper cages long after they leave Carrizo.
The biggest threat to any of these children’s safety is that they be deported by the U.S. government back to the most dangerous places for children in our hemisphere.

KEY FACT: The DHS/DOJ don't have to put them in deportation proceedings. They are choosing to do so.
That's why we demand:
1⃣The gov't immediately reunite children w/their families
2⃣The gov't ensure that children with no safe or appropriate caregiver in the U.S. are taken out of removal proceedings & given access to refugee services
3⃣All children receive access to an attorney
We need a system that seeks real well-being for immigrants.

@POTUS has the authority to #EndDetention TODAY.

Children & families that have been uprooted from their homes do not have to suffer in these facilities. They should instead be uplifted & welcomed with open arms.

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26 Feb
A lot of folks may be celebrating the end of immigrant family detention centers.

We're here to tell you this simply isn't true.
.@ICEgov is saying these facilities will simply become “3 day processing centers” for those given Notices to Appear (a charging doc initiating removal proceedings).

But we've been representing families inside of Karnes for years & can pretty much call BS on this.
For the past 3 years we’ve observed up close countless & frequent policy changes directly impacting the lives of people seeking safety, imprisoned by our gov't.

ICE can resume expedited removal & prolonged detention at any moment.

This is a glaring PR stunt by ICE.
Read 9 tweets
19 Feb
What's happening in Texas is criminal:
Food shortages. Unsafe drinking water. Impassable roads. Flooded homes. A humanitarian crisis like we’ve not seen before.

This is what's going on in immigrant detention centers in the midst of the #TexasFreeze & what you can do to help🧵👇🏾
We have 10 offices across the state and most of our 250+ staff members have been without power for much of the week.

Luckily, we've now been able to communicate with many of our clients & community members both in and out of detention centers.

But things are looking bleak.
Immigrants in detention centers are freezing cold and not able to get the word out about what’s going on inside these prisons.

Take Ubaldo's situation for example 👇🏾
Read 10 tweets
17 Feb
For 4+ months, Ubaldo Ochoa has been held in an ICE detention center in Pearsall, TX while his son awaits his release.

Today, we received a call from him saying it's freezing inside the jail, yet nothing has been done to alleviate the cold 🥶 #FreeUbaldo remezcla.com/culture/young-…
We're unsure if there have been power outages in the detention center but if their heating is working, it's set very low.

Ubaldo told us they were asking the guards (with no luck) to lower the air from the vents bc it was making them colder.
In lieu of heating, his block hasn't received blankets or any type of warm clothes in order to weather the storm.

And to top things off, our status hearing was cancelled today because of court closures in the state.
Read 8 tweets
17 Feb
4M+ Texans have been left w/o power for nearly 2 full days in the midst of an unprecedented snow storm & single-digit temps.

Who's been hit the hardest?
Marginalized communities a.k.a ppl w/disabilities, BIPOC and immigrants.

Let's dive into this 🧵⬇️
Ppl w/disabilities are 2-4 times more likely to be injured or killed in a natural disaster, according to @disasterstrat yet they're rarely effectively accommodated in the emergency preparedness plans of gov'ts.

Texas is a blatant example.
Folks with disabilities & chronic illnesses need power for assistive devices and heat to prevent severe impairment.

But how is governor @GregAbbott_TX responding to this & more?
By blaming the Green New Deal...🙄
Read 8 tweets
9 Feb
🚨 BREAKING: Thanks to efforts with @MPower_Change, @SAALTweets, and the 2,600+ of you who took action...

‼️ MR. F IS FREE ‼️

It's been a cruel 243 days of his incarceration.

@ICEgov's actions proved yet again that our immigration system was built on Islamophobia. 🧵👇🏽
Let's clarify that ICE has full discretion to release detained folks at ANY time.

Yet, they keep folks imprisoned under false claims, coding their anti-Blackness & Islamophobia into the language of "danger for community" or "threat to national security" like they did w/ Mr. F.
It's inhumane to have incarcerated Mr. F for 243 days. He missed his child's birth, his dietary needs weren't met, and his health was deteriorating.

Prisons, jails, and detention centers are always a public health crisis, but especially when #COVID19 is ravaging through them.
Read 8 tweets
5 Feb
The executive orders have been released, changes are starting to take place but our work continues.

This is what the #BidenAdministration has done in its first few days/weeks in office & what it still needs to act on in order to truly achieve #MigrantJustice

A thread 🧵⬇️ A rectangular navy blue graphic with the number 46 and stars
The 1st batch of immigration centered Executive Orders & memos included things like...

- Halting wall construction
- The Muslim & African Bans rescinded
- DACA restored
- A repealed census order excluding undocumented people
- Restoring deferred enforced departure for Liberians
With the additional new orders announced yesterday that include:

- Creating a task force to reunify families separated under the Trump administration
- Implementing a 3-part plan to improve access to the asylum system
- And an EO reviewing the existing legal immigration system
Read 9 tweets

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