Helping People Gain Power
Ten years ago, a new policy was named “Operation Streamline.” It is known for mass hearings in which up to 80 migrants are arraigned, found guilty, convicted and sentenced simultaneously for “improper entry,” a misdemeanor. The policy has long been decried by immigrant rights advocates. But the mass hearings, as shocking as they are, are only the tip of the iceberg. Lesser known is the widespread expansion of felony “re-entry” prosecutions and the mass incarceration of migrants that that came with the Streamline program.
Indefensible is an in-depth investigation into the costs and failures of a decade-old bad idea that has wasted millions of dollars and inflicted an incalculable amount of human suffering. Read more about The mass prosecution of migrants at the border, like mass incarceration, is an #Indefensible failure
We are happy to welcome Latasha Taylor to the Grassroots Leadership Criminal Justice team as our new Mental Health Organizer! Through a two-year Peer Policy Fellowship from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Latasha will be supporting the work of the Justice and Mental Health Coalition and Texas Advocates for Justice. Read more about Welcome Latasha Taylor, our new Mental Health Organizer!
“Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border,” documents the history and failures of migrant criminalization through the voices of those most impacted—including migrants and their families; and those with a firsthand view into the system— including judges, defenders, and human rights advocates. In 2015, improper entry and re-entry accounted for nearly half (49%) of all federal prosecutions. Read more about MEDIA TELECONFERENCE: New Book Examines the Impacts and Costs of a Decade of Mass Criminalization and Incarceration of Migrants Since Operation Streamline
A trend is emerging of Texas counties standing up against the Obama administration’s policy of locking up Central American families
(AUSTIN, Texas) — For the second time this month, officials in a South Texas county have delivered a unanimous vote against a new immigrant family detention center in their community.
Dimmit County Commissioners today rejected a proposal from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Stratton Oilfield Systems to turn the company’s now-vacant “man camp” in Carrizo Springs into a new family detention center. The facility would have detained asylum-seeking Central American mothers and children. They join officials in Jim Wells County, who rejected a similar proposal early this month from UK-based private prison company Serco, who wanted to turn a vacant nursing home into a lock-up for moms and kids in San Diego, Texas. Read more about Another South Texas community shoots down the family detention sales pitch
Dimmit County leaders are facing the same question that county commissioners in Jim Wells asked themselves earlier this month: Are the legal and financial risks that come with family detention worth it? Widespread opposition from Jim Wells County residents and concerns about financial and legal liability for the local community led county commissioners to wisely reject the proposal. Now, the Dimmit County Commissioners Court has this question on the agenda for their upcoming Monday, June 27 meeting.
Serious legal and financial questions, and the promise of a new president next year means that the family detention policy that fills the facility may not even exist next year. Dimmit County could join the long list of small communities left behind after betting their community’s future on detaining immigrants. Read more about BREAKING: Dimmit County is the latest Texas county to be sold a bill of goods on family detention