Last year Rep. Adam Smith introduced a bill into Congress in response to the courageous acts of women and men detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, demanding that private corporations like the GEO Group: treat detainees humanely, and respect basic human rights.
Rep. Smith is re-introducing the bill this week co-sponsored by his colleagues in Congress. This is the time for us to act:
We ask you to write your legislator to call congress to act by signing this bill. In short, this bill demands private corporations to treat detainees humanely and, most importantly, ends the "bed quota:" a senseless and inhumane mandate to maintain an arbitrary number of men and women detained at all times.
Furthermore, we ask that you follow up with your local representative to encourage them to act on this bill. You can find your representative here. Let us know if you'd be willing to organize a visit to encourage them.
Dear Honorable Members of the House of Representatives:
As a member of a community of faith and spirit I raise my voice to urge immediate implementation of policies that allow families to stay together without the fear of detention and deportation.
I ask you to support measures to do the following:
1. End the funding for and building of any new detention center;
2. Cease the maintenance of a quota system for filling detention bed;, and
3. Enact alternatives to the massive detention and deportation of people.
Migrant detention and massive deportation are destroying the fabric of our communities and neighborhoods across the nation. The excessive use of detention and deportation is damaging the healthy development of our children, ruining the financial health of many households, and tearing apart the community fabsic.
Specifically we call on you to support bills that have been introduced, such as the Accountability in Immigration Detention Act of 2014, that Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure that persons detained pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act are treated in compliance with specified requirements regarding: (1) humane treatment, (2) detention facility standards, (3) solitary confinement limitations, (4) telephone access, (5) facility location, (6) investigation of grievances, (7) transfers, (8) language and translation services, (9) recreational programs and voluntary work, (10) medical care, (11) vulnerable populations, and (12) legal access.
Furthermore, this bill ends the requirement for an arbitrary number of detention beds to be filled, probably the most damaging element of our current appropriations bill.
The implementation of this bill will help humanize the situation for people who have been detained arbitrarily for far too long.
I also, urge you to work to maximize the exercise of prosecutorial discretion and relief from deportation. These actions will protect the dignity and integrity of immigrant families by affording them the security to pursue a sufficient, sustainable livelihood that will enhance our economy and the fabric of our communities.