Today marks the first day of the 85th Texas Legislature, and we're gearing up for a fight. We are ready to stand with those who have felt the devastation of our mass incarceration crisis first hand. We will fight to protect immigrants and keep families together. And, on February 1, 2017 criminal justice and immigration groups from around the state will converge in Austin for a march, rally, art exhbit and visits to legislators to speak boldly about what we are fighting for. We hope that you'll join us. Read more about What we're fighting for at the Texas Legislature
Grassroots Leadership Blog
This past week I had the privilege of traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a border delegation through the Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church USA. Though I had lived on the border for a year and know this particular area quite well, I did not know exactly how this trip would turn out. Read more about Learning from the Borderlands
Like many of you, we are shocked, saddened and angered by Tuesday’s national election results. For some of us, the results are traumatizing. Donald Trump spent more than a year on the campaign trail threatening immigrants, making explicitly racist statements, bragging about sexual assault, mocking women, people with disabilities, and Muslims, encouraging supporters to beat up Black protestors, and promoting violent and illegal policies. Read more about We do not consent. We will not comply. We will fight back.
Today, we are launching a campaign to reach 40 sustaining monthly donations in 40 days! Our monthly sustainer program is the best way to pledge ongoing support to the work of Grassroots Leadership and our efforts to bring an end mass incarceration, detention and deportation. Read more about 40 for 40 Sustainer Drive!
By Alejandro Caceres and Jorge Antonio Renaud
A recent Statesman editorial (Wanted: Sheriff who keeps Austin out of Legislature crosshairs, Sept. 24) about the race for Travis County Sheriff suggested that we cannot have both criminal justice reforms and an end to deportations in Travis County. We couldn’t disagree more. We see everyday why you cannot stack a broken immigration system on top of a broken criminal justice system and expect a more just world. Read more about Incoming sheriff can tackle criminal justice reform while stopping deportations
Hilda Ramirez is finally able to leave St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church after she and her son Ivan spent the past 8 months in sanctuary there. Hilda and Ivan were granted deferred action of one year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which means they are not at risk of deportation for the next year. Read more about Hilda and Ivan are free at last!
The following is an excerpt of Dr. Satsuki Ina's letter to top officials at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services last December as the agency moved forward a proposal to license controversial family detention centers in an effort to keep them open. We thought this was timely to repost because litigation brought by detained moms and Grassroots Leadership to prohibit the state from licensing family detention centers as childcare facilities may be decided later this month. Read more about Dr. Satsuki Ina: Licensing family detention as "childcare" harkens back to WWII-era euphisms
As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigates its use of private prisons, women currently and formerly detained in two CCA-operated immigrant detention centers in Texas are speaking out against abuses in the facilities.
Their letters from inside are exposing grossly inadequate medical care and health conditions; unsanitary facilities; sickening food; verbal abuse & harsh, punitive treatment; re-traumatization of survivors of violence; interference with phone conversations.
Private immigrant detention facilities are notorious for their long list of abuses: inedible food, inadequate medical treatment, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, lack of due process, death due to denied medical treatment, poor hygiene, unsafe living conditions, etc. Last month the Bureau of Prisons announced they will be phasing out private prisons within their department. Read more about Police Chief Acevedo, join us in calling for an end to private immigrant prisons
One year ago today we celebrated the announced return of in-person visitation to the Travis County Jail here in Texas. The news came after a nearly 2-year fight led by those who had experienced video jail visits first-hand, and not only brought in-person visits back to Travis County, but also passed state legislation that will prevent other counties from replacing in-person visits with video chats.
Though we are happy that we could celebrate a victory in Travis County and Texas, we know this company continues to reap massive profits while countless individuals across the country are denied access to see their incarcerated loved one face-to-face. Read more about Watch our new film, (In)Securus Technology: An Assault on Prisoner Rights