As originally posted by Grassroots Leadership, by Cristina Parker
It’s the National Day of Action to #EndFamilyDetention. Join activists across the country in sending a message to ICE: prisons are not childcare, and these kids need our help.
A federal judge has ruled that locking up children in “family detention centers” violates the law – but that’s not stopping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials from twisting policies to keep family detention centers up and running and kids locked in.
The government wants us to believe they’re complying with Judge Gee’s ruling by licensing family detention centers as childcare facilities, as though licensing will improve conditions for kids. In fact, Texas officials just agreed to downgrade their childcare licensing standards just to allow family detention centers to keep jailing kids.
Conditions in these centers are shocking. Legal observers and community activists have reported abusive treatment by facility staff, malnourishment, psychological damage – even suicide attempts. Mothers locked up with their children in the Berks County Residential Center issued a letter saying, “[Many of our kids] have suffered health wise because of this confinement, and not to mention the racist abuse and poor treatment from certain members of the staff…but especially by the agents of ICE that play and mock our dignity as immigrants.”
That’s why – today – we’re inviting you to join the National Day of Action to End Family Detention and flood ICE offices with phone calls demanding an immediate end to ICE’s unnecessary and immoral jailing of refugee mothers and children.
Call the ICE offices in Pennsylvania and Texas that oversee Family Detention Centers:
Action: Call ICE Regional Director Thomas Decker
Number: (215) 656-7164, 0 # – ask for Thomas Decker
Action: Call ICE Field Director Enrique Lucero
Number: (210) 283-4711 – ask for Mr. Lucero
Script: I’m calling to ask that you comply with Judge Gee’s ruling and stop detaining refugee children in jail-like conditions. Prisons are not childcare, and these kids need our help.
Include the text: Join the National Day of Action to End Family Detention! Call ICE Texas Field Director Enrique Lucero at (210) 283-4711 and tell him: “I’m calling to ask that you comply with Judge Gee’s ruling and stop detaining children in jail-like conditions. Prisons are not childcare, and these kids need our help.” For more information go to uusc.org/shutthemdown
And Tweet At ICE:
Script: Hey, @ICEGov, #PrisonsAreNotChildcare – comply with the court: #EndFamilyDetention via @uusc