R. Andrew Free Profile picture
I'm an abolitionist lawyer working alongside immigrant communities in the Deep South & across the country to defend migrants & advance civil rights. he/him
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17 Sep
‼️BIG #DetentionKills news‼️

On May 15, 2017, #DACA holder Jean Jimenez died inside a solitary confinement cell @ ICE's Stewart Detention Ctr in Lumpkin, GA.

Today a federal judge DENIED ICE's attempt to dismiss his family's wrongful death suit, allows the case to proceed. Image
Jean's mom and step-dad are the first family of someone who died in an ICE prison under this regime to file a wrongful death lawsuit and defeat the government's effort to throw it out of court outright.

Here are some key facts from today's decision: documentcloud.org/documents/7212… ImageImageImageImage
A statement from Jean's family and #DetentionKills partners will be coming soon. But for now, we are overjoyed that the American justice system has determined we can move forward in our quest to obtain #JusticeforJean and to #FreeThemAll

documentcloud.org/documents/7212… ImageImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets
7 Sep
@Tanvim We’ll see. Adding @cecmunoz has now opened a discussion into the policies she advised the last administration to adopt. They include:

1. Deporting more than 2M people under the flawed premise that people like Stephen Miller could ever be satisfied that the border is secure.
@Tanvim @cecmunoz 2. Jailing refugee parents with their children and refusing to abide by the Flores Agreement.

3. Denying counsel to immigrant children in deportation proceedings.

4. Incorporating the Detention Bed Mandate (a giveaway to private prison companies) into the Admin’s budget.
@Tanvim @cecmunoz 5. Spreading 287g Agreements to racist police and sheriff and state trooper’s offices — including Sheriff Joe.

6. Creating and institutionalizing the Orwellian Secure Communities program — even after CRCL had an independent study showing stops/arrests of POC increase w SComm.
Read 6 tweets
7 Sep
“Not One More is not an enforcement strategy.” - Cecilia Muñoz, Washington, D.C. Summer 2015, upon being silently shamed by immigration lawyers holding #EndFamilyDetention signs while she gave the keynote at the @AILANational annual conference.

We have not forgotten, @cecmunoz
She couldn’t even finish her prepared remarks. She couldn’t stay and look all of us in the eye. She knew.

She knew about the reports of children losing weight in the new for-profit baby jails she and her colleagues advised 44 to create.

She knew of the suicide attempts.
This article had already been published.

She knew.

They all did.

We are not going back to the reality they created.

nytimes.com/2015/02/08/mag…
Read 11 tweets
31 Aug
They expect that nobody really will read these and that no reporters will cover them. Perhaps they’re right. I hope not.

These will be looked back on as the building blocks of something unimaginably horrible years down the road.

dhs.gov/publication/co…
It’s fascinating on many levels. Let’s start with the Coast Guard’s Palantir contract.
dhs.gov/sites/default/…

@ConMijente and @JustFuturesLaw have been out front leading a No Tech for ICE campaign.

What’s the Coast Guard doing installing this tech partnership? Read here:
Then there’s this, from CBP, which @ReichlinMelnick is already busy unpacking: dhs.gov/sites/default/…
Read 18 tweets
30 Jul
“Just Following Orders”-A mass collaborative thread by #ImmigrationTwitter of things ICE attorneys have done since DHS was created (not in chronological order)
- Prosecute children as young as 1 yr old who lack attorneys
- Add fake court dates & addresses to charging documents
- Deport people, including children, with pending, approvable green card applications
- Prosecute Muslim men rounded up in Kansas Kris Kobach’s illegal NSEERS program.
- Argue against releasing elderly and medically fragile people from jails and prisons overrun by #COVID19
- Argue that “when released” means “after release” and therefore people who committed crimes 20 years ago don’t get bond.
- Oppose releases by people in ICE custody for over 3 years.
- Refuse to stipulate to any continuance
- Refuse to waive appeal on any case
Read 19 tweets
29 Jul
In case you DHS Johnny and Janie Come Latetlies haven’t figured it out by now:

🗣If he’s going to openly defy #SCOTUS on #DACA and get away with it,
🗣He’s going to openly defy #SCOTUS on, say, the election results.

We’re Wiley Coyote staring straight down at no ground left.
🗣If they can imprison and disappear into secret hotels and office parks other people’s children for doing something that’s not illegal

🗣They can imprison and disappear your children into secret hotels and office parks for doing something that’s not illegal.
🗣If they can arrest and spirit across the country longtime US residents without giving them access to counsel or their families and then imprison them to die in #COVID19 for-profit jails,

🗣 they can arrest and spirit you across the country, no lawyers, no calls, no info.
Read 4 tweets
18 Jul
Hoping someone On Here might still have the video of John Lewis at an immigrants’ rights rally in Atlanta sometime between 2011-12 where he’s telling undocumented organizers and allies that if police are going to them, they’ll have to arrest him, and the jails can’t hold us all.
I remember live-streaming that rally in my office as a young attorney and just breaking down crying at how beautiful it was to have someone so important in the civil rights movement embrace the immigrants’ rights movement in a time when our Friends were deporting record numbers.
Last night I posted video of his interview prior to being arrested at a protest in DC to call for comprehensive immigration reform. Lewis took the maximalist position: None of the 11 million people who live here without papers should be deported. No family torn apart. #Not1More
Read 7 tweets
14 Jul
Here are five key takeaways from today’s #FourHorsemen hearing before the @HomelandDems with the CEOs of GEO, CoreCivic, MTC, and LaSalle.

1️⃣All 4 committed to post daily, facility-level #Covid19 inspection data IF ICE will let them. ICE isn’t publishing that data right now. /1
2️⃣CoreCivic, which is under the same guidance and ICE PRR as the other 3 of the #FourHorsemen, admitted it doesn’t require detained immigrants in its facilities to wear masks. They either don’t get what the CDC has said, don’t understand what the CDC advises, or don’t care.
3️⃣The #FourHorsemen all categorically (almost) denied what their press folks and ICE have categorcially admitted: There have been pepper spray, OC, and rubber bullet uses of force since #COVID19 began. To be clear, this wasn’t factually in dispute before their testimony today.
Read 6 tweets
13 Jul
Live-Tweeting today's #FourHorsemen hearing before @HomelandDems, led by Chair @RepKathleenRice

Chairwoman reveals the Committee may have learned of a THIRD #COVID19 death in Florida today.

#DetentionKills
Calls for IMMEDIATE end to transfers between facilities.
@HomelandDems @RepKathleenRice The #FourHorsemen hearing is opened by @RepClayHiggins expressing disappointment that ICE wasn't invited to the hearing. Apparently the facility contractors aren't able to adequately describe what ICE told them.

Says "Additional layer of safety measures" provided by PRR. (2)
@HomelandDems @RepKathleenRice @RepClayHiggins @RepClayHiggins seems to be going on record in favor of subpoenaing @ICEgov to provide new information provided by contractors as a result of Chair[wo]man's "very professional document request."

Says the hearing topic is outside the Committee's jurisdiction. #FourHorsemen
Read 72 tweets
3 Jul
#FOIAFriday

Our #DetentionKills network published #FOIA records from ICE that prove the government and its auditors have failed to accurately report and document attempts by people in custody to commit suicide in ICE jails.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in ICE custody
Here’s a thread on those docs, and what they mean:

Gotta admit: it’s deflating to lay all this out On Here and have the analysis get fewer impressions than snarky GIFs about the Portland Trailblazers I periodically drop into @MattArchambeau1’s feed on @YakimaAbogado’s behalf.

But good messengers don’t blame their audience. So,
Read 5 tweets
2 Jul
More #FOIAFoibles from ICE.

According to a response the agency provided today. there were only 2 Significant Incident Reports or Significant Event Notifications regarding suicide attempts by people imprisoned at facilities in the New Orleans Field Office from Jan-Apr 2019. 1/x
One happened at GEO's LaSalle facility on April 17, 2019 around 3pm. A Sudanese man used a razor blade to slit his wrists. He had to go to LaSalle General for sutures. Yet the report says no injuries occurred. 2/x
The other SIR was an attempted self-strangulation with a sheet by a #Cameroonian asylum-seeker on January 26 at CoreCivic's Tallahatchie facility in Tutwiler, Mississippi.

His fellow detained migrants were able to intervene and save his life.
Read 12 tweets
30 May
Here are a bunch of investigations into alleged crimes by CBP officers. They range from child pornography to workplace sexual assault. As revealing for what they don’t say as they are about what they do. #FOIA

DHS-OIG BP Closed, Substantiated muckrock.com/foi/united-sta… @muckrock
My favorite so far? The dude who tried to make off with a passenger’s edible bird nest.
Read 14 tweets
15 May
Thread:
Jean Jimenez, a 27 year-old artist, musician, and DREAMER died in a solitary confinement cell at ICE and CoreCivic's Stewart Detention Center three years ago today. Jean's family committed to ensure that his death would be in vain, and his life would not be forgotten. 1
2. Lesson #1 - No Medical Records for Families of the Dead.
We had to sue ICE to get Jean's medical records, even though ICE was required to provide them to him when he was alive. ICE still hasn't produced all Jean's unredacted medical records.
3. Lesson #2 - ICE Lies
After Jean died, ICE's Atlanta Field Office deliberately misled the public and their supervisors. While their demonstrable lies are too numerous to list quickly, here are a few: (1) Jean was never convicted of a felony;
Read 7 tweets
13 Jan
TN Comptroller (and state parks enthusiast) Justin P Wilson tells TDOC oversight hearing his 200-page report can be summed up in one sentence:

“The Department did not have adequate controls to endure what they told you, the legislature, and the public is true.”
Tough to see how anyone in any other private industry would survive this sort of review.
Failures, large and small, permeate the audit report.

The message I hear over and over, which should be useful for anyone challenging conditions at TN’s prisons.

Bottom line—according to the Tennessee Comptroller, you can’t trust what TDOC says about what happens in prisons.
Read 85 tweets
21 Dec 19
Hello 👋🏼 to all these new social science-y academic-y followers!

Now seems as good a time as any to pitch an article/study/analysis of how the nation’s current immigration bureaucracy and prisons are a perfect praxis of the Milgram Experiment.

Let’s dive in . . .
As understand the experiment, one thing it teaches is that people will inflict pain on others if they believe it’s their duty to follow instructions to do so, and especially if the victim is out of sight.

Even when they hear the screams, the persecutors will obey & continue.
Greater pressure from authority +
Machinery to distance the torturer from the victim + submission = torture under this framework.
Read 7 tweets
17 Dec 19
THREAD:
In honor of the the D's #minibus surrender & NARA decision allowing destruction of documents about abuse in ICE detention centers, #FOIA documents we recently received for a single detention center -- currently the deadliest in America -- in Stewart County, Georgia. 1/
2/ A man calls to report suffering a neck injury at the hands of a detention officer and then not receiving proper medical care.
3/ An allegedly 2-year campaign of discrimination and harassment that includes retaliatory solitary confinement, denial of access to mail, and a failure of ICE to respond to prior complaints
Read 35 tweets
5 Dec 19
So about that ICE enforcement action this morning in Nashville . . .

Someday people will look back at this period and read things like the cold, lifeless words in these public records documenting a forcible family separation.

They’ll talk about us like we talk about Nazis.
“Several persons on the seen had been pepper sprayed”
“These individuals were apparently family members of OP#4 . . . After OP#4 was placed in the back of the vehicle by an ICE agent, OP#3 grabbed the front grill of the ICE agent’s vehicle to prevent him from leaving the scene.”
Read 5 tweets
4 Dec 19
I represent the families of several people who died in ICE custody.

Our investigations into their deaths have revealed dire warnings about chronic underspending on detained migrants’ needs.

If today’s stories are true, @McKinsey’s recommendations contributed to these deaths.
Less than 8 hours after doctors pronounced Jean Jimenez dead, ICE officials admitted in emails that having a single mental healthcare provider covering a nearly 2000-person private ICE prison was “not doable.”

One employee called under-staffing of the facility a “ticking bomb”.
To speed through deportations at the border, DHS officials allowed Ronal Francisco to languish on a floor in the open cages at Ursula waiting ICE detention as part of a “consequence delivery system”. He died from bacterial meningitis after not getting emergency care in time.
Read 8 tweets
24 Oct 19
This is a stunning #scotus brief filed by former senior Border Patrol officials in the cross-border shooting case.

Bottom line: The culture of violence and impunity within BP is completely pervasive and out of control.
#DefundHate
TL:DR Two former BP bosses tasked with investigating allegations of misconduct by agents describe how the hyper-militarized agency culture and inadequate use of force training combine with weak external oversight and the blue wall of silence and obstruction. Kills accountability
There is, they say, no meaningful deterrent to Border Patrol agents illegally shooting unarmed teens and others if civil lawsuits against them cannot be filed. That’s precisely the result DOJ and the SG are advocating in this case.
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct 19
Another human caged by ICE appears to have ended his life while in solitary confinement at a for-profit migrant prison, this time in Louisiana.

This would be the second known in-custody death of the fiscal year, with more than two dozen occurring since the regime took power.
Worth noting that the existence of this facility for ICE imprisonment itself is in direct violation of the appropriations authority Congress gave to ICE when it funded detention operations.

motherjones.com/politics/2019/…
It’s worth asking ourselves what to call prison camps we send people to where they’ve committed no crime, received no due process, and have not been shown to present a flight risk, knowing some number of them will die, and thousands more will suffer
#DetentionKills
#KillDetention
Read 16 tweets
27 Sep 19
Currently pending before the committee is a motion to call off the boycott and fully fund an hour of this commercial-free.

All in favor?
Read 6 tweets