Detention and the #EndTheQuota Campaign

On any given day, at least 34,000 people are detained in immigrant detention centers in the U.S. to meet an arbitrary lock-up quota dictated by Congress. Stopping the quota would be a giant step forward in ending our reliance on detention. Grassroots Leadership researches and exposes the role of for-profit prisons and their lobbyists in enacting the quota contributes to the growing national movement to stop immigrant detention.

 

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Second Detainee Strike Shedding Light on Private Detention Abuses

Conroe, TX - Today marks the second day of a hunger strike initiated by immigrant detainees at the Joe Corley Detention Facility run by for-profit private prison company, GEO Group. This strike, part of a larger effort to end deportations, was inspired by one that began March 7th in Tacoma, Washington at a facility that is also run by GEO Group.

An attorney that confirmed the strike during a visit to Joe Corley yesterday morning was able to communicate the following demands from the strikers:

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#TBT: Looking back at the ties between ICE and for-profit prisons

Does the name David Venturella ring a bell?

You may remember him as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official who pushed the deportation quota. Or you may remember him as the Executive Vice President for Corporate Development at GEO Group. 

The disturbing fact is that he is both.

For this Throwback Thursday (#TBT), we want to take you back to a post from February 15 of last year when Bob covered Venturella's offensive career trajectory. 

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Hunger Strike in Tacoma Leads Directly Back to GEO and the Detention Bed Quota

Today marks the sixth day of a hunger strike initiated by hundreds of immigrant detainees at a Tacoma, Washington detention facility run by for-profit private prison company GEO Group. A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) indicated that 750 of the center’s 1,300 detainees had refused meals on Friday, the first day of the strike. However, advocates for the strikers say this number was likely closer to 1,200. 
 
The detainees assert that the purpose of the strike is to demand better conditions at the facility and an end to U.S. deportations as well as better food, increased pay for their work inside the facility, and better over-all treatment by the guards. Many of the strikers are also part of a work stoppage.
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It's Elementary: The Cost of Immigration Detention Doesn't Add Up

This week, National Immigration Forum posted their report, The Math of Immigration Detention: Runaway Costs for Immigration Detention Do Not Add Up to Sensible Policies, examining the cost to taxpayers of detaining immigrants, the majority of whom have no criminal record.  Additionally, the report highlights how the private for-profit prison industry stands to gain the most from the growing number of immigrants in detention facilities.   

The report paints a clear picture of the exorbitant amount of money the federal government continues to spend on detaining hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year, while funding allocated for alternatives to detention, which would keep immigrants in their communities with their families, remains dwarfed in comparison to detention.  

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