Protesting immigration detention for International Human Rights Day

Today, the New York Times called the immigration detention system "dangerously broken." More than 34,000 immigrants awake each day in the immigration detention system.   The system relies heavily on for-profit corporations who own and/or operate prisons and county jails to detain migrants.  According to the Times,"The paradigm is wrong. The system is dangerously broken."

In honor of International Human Rights Day this Saturday, please join Grassroots Leadership and our allies in Texas for two events to highlight the gross injustice facing immigrants in the for-profit detention system.  This Wednesday at 8pm, join us at MonkeyWrench Books in Austin for a screening of PBS Frontline's Lost in Detention followed by a discussion and sign-making party.

On Saturday, community members from across Texas will meet in Waco for an International Human Rights Day vigil to protest the detention of immigrant women at the Jack Harwell Detention Center, yet another for-profit immigrant detention center located in Waco. See below for more details to both events.

"Lost in Detention" Screening & Discussion

Wednesday, December 7, 8pm, MonkeyWrench Books, 110 E. North Loop

"Lost in Detention" is an hour-long PBS Frontline expose on the immigration detention and enforcement system.  Last year, the Obama administration set new records for detaining and deporting immigrants who were inside the country illegally. The government plans to best those numbers in 2011, removing more than 400,000 people. In partnership with American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop, Frontline contributing correspondent Maria Hinojosa takes a penetrating look at Obama's vastly expanded immigration net, explores the controversial Secure Communities enforcement program and goes inside the hidden world of immigration detention in “Lost in Detention.”  The screening will be followed with a discussion and call to action for a December 10th vigil outside an immigration detention center in Waco, Texas.  Free & open to the public.  Followed by a sign-making party.


International Human Rights Day Vigil in Waco

Saturday, December 10, 2pm, gathering at Heritage Park (3rd and Austin) in Waco

In honor of International Human Rights Day, we will gather to draw attention to the increasing number of for-profit immigrant detention centers in Texas, including the Jack Harwell Detention Center in Waco, and the horrendous treatment of the immigrant detainees inside the detention system. The Jack Harwell facility was built as a speculative jail by a private prison corporation called Community Education Centers. Despite Immigration and Customs Enforcement's claims of moving towards a "civil" detention system, the agency has recently contracted with Jack Harwell to detain immigrant women at the facility.  Texas already has more than 10,000 immigrant detention beds.  Join us to call for an end to this cruel and unjust system.

Speakers will include members of the Waco Dream Act Alliance, Hope Fellowship Church, Texans United for Families, and those affected by the immigrant detention system.  We will deliver a message to the detention facility following our gathering at Heritage Park.  Texans United for Families is organizing a carpool from Austin which will meet at 11:30am at 2604 E. Cesar Chavez.   Updated information here.