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Free undocumented immigrants from incarceration: Stop the corporate prison industry’s influence on politics

How the For-Profit Corporate Prison Lobby Killed Immigration Reform

To free undocumented immigrants from the threat of incarceration, the focus has to be on reducing the corporate prison industry’s influence on Congress.

Most national leaders are telling their constituencies that bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform is not a possibility this year. Acts of civil disobedience and militant, grassroots efforts to stop deportations are spreading across the country. Missing in the strategy is the power of the for-profit corporate prison industry. To win, the immigration reform movement has to weaken the private prison corporate lobby.

The immigrant rights movement made major headway in the fight for human rights and equal justice in 2013. Worker centers and several key unions stepped up their efforts by organizing popular support to pressure Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE and local sheriffs to free detained immigrants. The movement also mobilized constituents to pressure reluctant Congressmen to support Comprehensive Immigration Reform, CIR. More people than ever in the social justice and economic justice movements began to see that immigration policy is the nation’s labor policy. When 2013 began, a majority of Americans opposed legal status for undocumented immigrants. But by the fall of 2013, a growing majority switched to favoring a path to citizenship for the same people. While persuading the hearts and minds of the American majority is progress, there’s less and less correlation between what Americans want and what Congress does. The Dream Act had overwhelming support, and, despite this support, died in the US in 2010. Continue reading

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Fast and Rally at Northwest Detention Center

For immediate release:

Contact: Maru Mora Villalpando (206) 251-6658 | Jolinda Stephens (614) 915-4079

Fathers’ Day Fast and Rally at Northwest Detention Center

WHAT: Rally and Report from the Morning’s People’s Movement Assembly

WHEN: Saturday, June 14, 1 pm

WHERE; Northwest Detention Center, Tacoma, WA

WHO:  Hunger strike leaders, families of those detained in the immigration prison and migration justice groups from around the Pacific Northwest

HIGHLIGHTS: Details of the actions plans developed by local groups in collaboration with detention and migration justice groups in the U. S., Canada, Spain and England; Fathers Day Fast announced.

About 100 families separated by the deportation machine and groups working to bring justice to the immigration system will meet in Tacoma Saturday morning, June 14. They will be joined via Skype with groups from the U. S. and around the world, including the Detention Watch Network (DC), Conroe TX detention center supporters, No One Is Illegal of Toronto, No CIEs of Valencia and Madrid (Spain), Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the National Day Laborers Organizing Network. They will share the work they are doing and develop shared strategies to address the crisis facing families torn apart by immigration practices. The rally will include reports from that assembly, as well a music loud enough to be heard inside the immigration prison and phone calls from inside which may announce a new hunger strike. Continue reading

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Father’s Day Shame on Schumer: Stop deporting New York families! #EndTheQuota

2014FFF_flyer copyFather’s Day Shame on Schumer:

Stop deportation complex that tears New York families apart!

Why: A quick review of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s record reveals he has built a public persona as an immigrant rights advocate while turning his back on immigrants and specifically his fellow New Yorkers whose best interest and voices he was elected to represent.

When: June 13 @ 12 pm to 1:30 pm

Where: In front of Schumer’s office: 780 3rd Ave (between 48th and 49th Street) New York, NY 10017

Who: Families for Freedom and directly affected families in partnership with Detention Watch Network, Enlace and Migrant Power Alliance.

Schumer’s Shameful Record:

As the lead Senate Democrat working immigration, he was part of the failed Gang of 8 – which drove an enforcement-heavy reform agenda.

Out of sync with momentum nationwide in the movement to stop all deportations – Schumer recently voiced opposition to President Obama reviewing the devastating deportation system and providing immediate relief. http://bzfd.it/1lmsbEH

He’s taken over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the private prison industry and pushed for billions more dollars spent on increased enforcement and detention of immigrants. http://bit.ly/1in05Vi

At least 7K of the people from NY in the past 5 years who got deported have US citizen children.ICE’s detention and deportation policies are breaking apart New York City families and neighborhoods. From October 2005 through December 2010, the parents of 13,521 U.S. citizen children were apprehended in New York. This data is often not obtained from ICE, so the actual number is likely much higher.

NY deportation number source:

NYU School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic; Immigrant Defense Project; Families for Freedom. Report: “Insecure Communities, Devastated Families, New Data on Immigrant Detention and Deportation Practices in New York.” July 23, 2012.bit.ly/1hKbgpv

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Prison Divestment in the West!

Breaking News in the Private Prison Divestment Campaign

Recognizing that we all have ties to the for-profit private prison industry, labor councils and cities are working to cut those ties.In the Pacific Northwest, home of GEO Group’s notorious Northwest Detention Center, city divestment resolutions are moving forward in Seattle and Portland. Last week, the Human Rights Commissions of both cities endorsed resolutions calling on their cities to divest from private prisons and their major investors.

Major investors in private prisons provide the support for the private prison industry to lobby for policies that unjustly imprison immigrants and people of color in out-sourced facilities where sexual abuse and other atrocities are rampant.

Live in Portland? Sign the petition demanding that your city stop supporting for-profit immigrant prisons!

Live in Seattle? Sign the petition demanding that your city and US Senators stop supporting outsourced immigrant prisons!

Last month, the Sacramento Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO passed a resolution calling on all public institutions to divest their holdings in private prisons. The two largest pensions in California, CalPERS and CalSTRS, own millions in the powerful CCA and GEO prison corporations. The Labor Council’s resolution also called on California’s US Senators to stop federal contracting with private prisons. Read the resolution, and learn how to start your public pension divestment in our new toolkit, Unload Your Pension.

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34 Days to #EndTheQuota

PrintThe next 34 days are critical in our collective efforts to end the 34,000 immigrant detention quota. Sign-up today to get involved during the 34 Days to End The Quota.

During the month of June, the House of Representatives will be voting on the Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations bill, which includes the detention bed quota. In the meantime, 34,000 immigrants continue to be locked-up at any given time in detention and thousands of families and communities continue to be torn apart. Now is the time to ADVOCATE, EDUCATE and ORGANIZE to #EndTheQuota.

Here are 6 things you can do during the 34 Days to End The Quota:

1 Join DWN’s End The Quota webinar, this Thursday, June 12th at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Register here.

2 Hold educational events, community forums or teach-ins about the immigration detention system and the impact of the 34,000 detention bed quota on our communities. For educational materials and resources go here.

3 Call and/or visit your members of Congress and ask them to eliminate the immigration detention bed quota from the FY 2015 appropriations bill. Ask your Representative to vote for the Deutch-Foster amendment that strikes the quota language from the bill. For End The Quota advocacy materials go here.

4 Organize an action, or vigil outside a detention center, ICE office or congressional member’s office. Contact Catalina Nieto cnieto@detentionwatchnetwork.org for support.

5 Write an op-ed or letter to the editor about the impact of the quota in your community. For sample talking points go here.

6 Share End The Quota action alerts, videos, infographs, posters, and fact sheets via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and blogs.

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Pension Divestment Toolkit

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Too many public pensions are directly invested in the private prison industry. The future financial security of teachers and public employees should not depend on separating families and locking up our community members. Read Unlock your Pension and learn how to start divesting today!

The following public pensions are directly invested in CCA and GEO:

 ARIZONA STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM
CALIFORNIA STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM
CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION OF COLORADO
STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION OF FLORIDA RETIREMENT SYSTEM
TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF THE STATE OF KENTUCKY
LOUISIANA STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF MICHIGAN
NEW YORK STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM
NEW YORK STATE COMMON RETIREMENT FUND
STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF OHIO
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF OHIO
OREGON PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT FUND
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLS RETRMT SYS
TEACHER RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF TEXAS
UTAH RETIREMENT SYSTEMS

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Youth Organizing Prison Divestment at Universities and Schools

Join youth from around the US in a call to discuss organizing efforts against incarceration, deportation,  and detention. The call is organized by the National Prison Divestment Campaign, which has been organizing to build a movement against incarceration, deportation, and detention. Students have been engaged in the campaign since its inception and more recently students on various campuses have launched prison divestment campaigns on their campus.

Student Organizing Call
Friday May 23rd at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST

Call Number 712-432-1601     Code 1092213

Join the call to hear about the coming National Youth Convergence this August 2014. The convergence will be a space for youth to connect and strategize on next steps to fight incarceration, deportation and detention. For more information please contact Jamie@enlaceintl.org

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Urge @ThePrincipal to #divest from PrincipalPrisons.org

Join us and our friends at @ColorOfChange in turning up the pressure on @ThePrincipalFinancialGroup, a company that claims to be “one of the most ethical in the world” yet supports the private prison system with a $106 million investment.

Today is The Principal’s annual shareholder meeting and advocates all over the country are working to make sure the company’s shameful support of for-profit prisons doesn’t get swept under the rug.

Private-Prisons-Principal-Eddie-social_media_share

TAKE ACTION

Facebook

Can you take a moment to write on @ThePrincipalsFinancialGroup’s Facebook page and demand divestment? Together we have the power to hold this company accountable and stand up for a more humane and fair criminal justice system.

https://www.facebook.com/PrincipalFinancial?fref=ts

Twitter

No excuse. @ThePrincipal has the power to #divest. Demand end of $105M #PrivatePrisons support: PrincipalPrisons.org #PrincipalPrisons

Join #PrincipalPrisons Day of Action! During annual shareholder meeting urge @ThePrincipal to #divest from PrincipalPrisons.org

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DWN’s Catalina Nieto speaking on Immigration Detention

Via Detention Watch Network Blog
Catalina Nieto is the Field Director of the Detention Watch Network (DWN), a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system. Ever since Catalina migrated from Colombia to the United States in 2000, she has been actively engaged in the immigrant rights and Latin American solidarity movement as a community organizer, artist and popular educator. Through her work at DWN, Catalina supports local and national organizing against detention expansion and towards policies that promote the rights and dignity of all persons. Catalina graduated with an M.A. in Social Justice and Intercultural Relations from SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont and a double B.A. in Sociology and Communications, Media and Theater from Northeastern Illinois University. Before joining DWN, Catalina worked as a community organizer with the immigrant rights organization Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (TIRRC), the Latin American solidarity organization Witness for Peace, and supported movement building as an interpreter and popular educator with the Highlander Center for Popular Education and the Wayside Center for Popular Education. Continue reading

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Detention Means Big Money for For-Profit Prisons

The Center for American Progress this month launched a series of infographics on the bed quota. Check them out!

A congressional mandate requires that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, maintain bed space to detain 34,000 immigrants per day at an annual cost of more than $2 billion. This arbitrary number is unrelated to the agency’s actual bed-space needs, wasting taxpayer dollars and placing immigrants at risk of abuse and mistreatment in detention facilities. The detention bed quota increases revenue for for-profit prisons.
DetentionBedQuota5v2
Continue reading

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May 14th CURB Statewide Day of Action

In last week’s hearing Senator Hancock said “we did not want to replicate our prison system jail by jail.” The Senate opposed Governor Brown’s budget proposal to grant an additional $500 million to expand jails and instead voted to provide this additional funding for county construction projects which could include transitional housing, day reporting centers, mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities and jails. The Senate Budget vote is a step towards funding alternatives, not jails. To fully cancel this jail construction funding we must keep the pressure on!

The Governor will release his May Budget Revise the week of May 12th and CURB are joining with the California Partnership for a Statewide Day of Action!

Please join us for a Press Conferences and Rally about the Governor’s May Revise Budget on Wednesday, May 14th to highlight the need to invest in Californians, not in more prisons and jails! Continue reading

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Youth Organizing against Incarceration, Deportation & Detention

Join youth from around the US in a call to discuss organizing efforts against incarceration, deportation,  and detention. The call is organized by the National Prison Divestment Campaign, which has been organizing to build a movement against incarceration, deportation, and detention. Students have been engaged in the campaign since its inception and more recently students on various campuses have launched prison divestment campaigns on their campus.

Student Organizing Call
Friday May 23rd at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST

Join the call to hear about the coming National Youth Convergence this August 2014. The convergence will be a space for youth to connect and strategize on next steps to fight incarceration, deportation and detention. For more information please contact Jamie@enlaceintl.org

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#EndTheQuota

ACTION: End The Quota Action in Washington, D.C.!

Friday, May 9th, 2014 | 3:00 p.m. | Meet outside the Smithsonian Metro Station (Orange/Blue Line)

As the immigrant rights movement grows stronger, and as communities in defense of justice and dignity for all immigrants, we have the power to demand that Congress and President Obama eliminate the quota and stop the senseless targeting and incarceration of immigrants. The Congressional Appropriations Committee should take the lead by striking the quota language in the upcoming appropriations bill. And every single member of Congress has the power to get rid of it via the amendment process by voting to eliminate the quota.

Get Involved
•Join DWN’s mailing list to get regular updates on the #EndTheQuota campaign
•Organize an End The Quota action or public education event in your community. Contact Catalina Nieto at cnieto@detentionwatchnetwork.org
Call and/or meet with your member of Congress and ask them to oppose the immigration detention bed quota in any appropriations bill

What is the immigration detention bed quota?

Congressional appropriations language on ICE’s detention budget states “[t]hat funding made available under this heading shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds.” The immigration detention bed quota requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to lock-up an average of 34,000 immigrants in detention at any given time. Continue reading

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Major Corporations Divest nearly $60m from Private Prison Industry

Congrats to the great work of Color of Change, a Steering Committee Member of the National Prison Divestment Campaign. SCOPIA, DSM, and Amica Mutual Insurance all pledged to divest from the private prison industry, totalling to over $60 Million. Special mention as well to the other Steering Committee Members and Campaign Partners who have targeted Scopia the last few years and more recently the Dutch Pension (DSM), whose efforts also contributed to this amazing victory.

Below is the Press Release by Color of Change

Major Corporations Divest nearly $60m from Private Prison Industry After Pressure from Civil Rights Group

Scopia Capital, DSM, and Amica Mutual Insurance Pull Investment in Private Prison Companies, GEO and CCA.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 | For Immediate Release | CONTACT: Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com

NEW YORK — In a groundbreaking move, three major corporations have announced the divestment of a combined total of nearly $60,000,000 from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group (GEO), confirmed after ColorOfChange.org urged company executives to reconsider the financial, moral, and political implications of private prisons and divest. In the past few months, ColorOfChange has reached out to more than 150 companies urging divestment, and remain in conversations with dozens of company executives about ending support for the industry. Continue reading