Finally, ICE relents and some women and children are released from long-term family detention

July 14, 2015

Grassroots Leadership calls on ICE to close three family detention camps

(AUSTIN, Texas) — Bowing to intense pressure, immigration officials announced Monday that they will release some detained families who have been found to have credible fear of returning to their home countries. “ICE has finally begun to take concrete action in response to public outcry against the detention of refugee families,” said Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership. “While we are heartened that some families will no longer be forced to relive their trauma through unjust prolonged detention, we remain concerned that women and children will continue to be detained. We will continue to push for the release of all families and the closure of all three family detention camps.”

Grassroots Leadership also calls on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to ensure due process for each family so that no asylum seeker is unjustly deported. “Not only should ICE stop the use of mass family detention, it should also stop the practice of placing ankle shackles on women as a condition of release,” said Cristina Parker, Immigration Programs Director for Grassroots Leadership.  “ICE should rely on community-based alternatives to detention rather than turn to this stigmatizing and unnecessary alternative form of detention.”

Monday’s announcement also leaves three family detention camps open in Karnes City, Texas, Dilley, Texas, and Berks County, Pennsylvania.  The announcement also does not impact the release of refugee women or men who arrive without children from the same countries and under many of the same circumstances. Grassroots Leadership urges ICE to promptly release all asylum seekers who are found to have fear of returning to their home countries as a step towards the elimination of immigrant detention.

                                                            # # #

Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works to end for-profit incarceration and reduce reliance on criminalization and detention through direct action, organizing, research, and public education.


Cristina Parker,