Texas Groups Call for Dignity Not Detention on Anniversary of Detention Reforms Announcement

October 5, 2010

Organizations call on ICE to Prioritize Release over Detention & Address Human Rights Abuses in Texas' Massive Immigration Detention System

AUSTIN, TX – On Wednesday, October, 6th, Texas advocacy groups will display a visual of the Texas detention system in an effort to call attention to the massive and largely unaccountable network of immigration detention centers in Texas. The visual will be on display at 12pm at the J.J. Pickle Federal Building, located at 9th and San Jacinto in Austin.

Last year, in response to sharp criticism from media reports, government officials and human rights organizations, ICE announced a series of changes to the immigration detention system. As part of its reform efforts, ICE promised to move away from the sprawling network of jails and private prisons it uses to detain immigrants toward a less punitive model in accordance with its civil detention authority. ICE also indicated it would take concrete steps to improve the conditions of confinement for the nearly 400,000 people detained each year.

Groups calling on ICE to fulfill its promises say that reforms have been compromised by a growing detention population, which exacerbates existing problems in detention facilities and creates additional challenges to management and oversight. Immigrants continue to be jailed for months or even years under substandard conditions. Reports indicate that many of those detained still suffer egregious human rights violations while in custody. Mistreatment by guards, deficient medical care, sexual assault and limited access to family and counsel remain problems in Texas, which is home to more than 10,000 immigrant detention beds in a network of private prisons and government-operated facilities.

WHAT: Visual display and protest of immigration detention system in Texas.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 6th, 2010, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: J.J. Pickle Federal Building, 9th and San Jacinto, Austin, Texas. 
WHO: Texans United for Families and Grassroots Leadership.