Helping People Gain Power
Reports have started to emerge from Artesia, New Mexico, suggesting that conditions are dangerous and unhealthy inside the family detention center that was created almost overnight at a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Others have expressed concerns that procedures within the detention center present a threat to due process that could result in women and children who have sought refuge at the U.S.-Mexico border being sent back into harm's way.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has allowed some to tour the facility, including Tannia Esparza, executive director of Young Women United. Esparza told the Associated Press that the women she visited in Artesia reported that children were sick with coughs and diarrhea but were not given medication and that pregnant women are being targeted for quick deportation.
Earlier this month, we shared our petition to stop eavesdropping on prisoners at the Travis County Jail, where in-person visits have been replaced by a for-profit video conferencing service.
Now, Jazmine Ulloa with the Austin-American Statesman has published the story, "Are there privacy flaws in inmate call systems?", sounding the alarm on phone calls between prisoners and their lawyers being unlawfully recorded at the Travis County Jail and Securus, the private company that's cashing in on it. Our friends at Texas Civil Rights Project and the Prison Justice League have filed suit.Read more about Take action: Pressure mounts at Travis County Jail to stop "unconstitutional eavesdropping"
(AUSTIN, Texas) — Grassroots Leadership is deeply disappointed by the announcement today that the Karnes County Civil Detention Center southeast of San Antonio will be used to detain families and children fleeing violence in Central America.
The 600-bed Karnes County Detention Center is operated by for-profit private prison company GEO Group which has a long history of prisoner abuse, lawsuits alleging human rights violations, and deaths in custody. Read more about Grassroots Leadership decries return of for-profit immigrant family detention in Texas
Today’s Humpday Hall of Shame award goes to a repeat dis-honoree: Representative Henry Cuellar, Democrat from Laredo, Texas. Yesterday, Cuellar teamed with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to introduce the Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency Act. The HUMANE Act, despite its name, guts legal protection for unaccompanied migrant children and speeds their deportation.
Cuellar’s public push to detain and deport migrant children drew a rebuke (The Hill, July 11, 2014) last week from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. CHC’s chairman Ruben Hinojosa, a fellow Texan told reporters at a press conference that: "Henry Cuellar does not represent the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He's a Blue Dog; he comes to the meetings once in a long time."
The CHC has called for maintaining legal protections for children from Central America and allowing kids to be able to fight their cases in courts rather than through an expedited deportation policy. Experts have noted that Honduras — the country where the most unaccompanied children are migrating — has the highest murder rate in the world and that rapid deportation of children and families would result in some of those deportees being killed.Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame - Henry Cuellar wants kids deported ASAP, hauls in private prison cash
On Saturday, July 12, Texans United for Families (TUFF) joined immigrant rights advocates and organizers from around Texas gathered to shine a light on the inappropriate and dangerous conditions at the Jack Harwell Detention Center in Waco. Read more about Texans target Waco detention center after reports of sub-standard conditions for immigrants