photo by Virginia Raymond, touched up by Omar Figueredo; art by Rini Templeton
Please read this resolution, sign it as yourself, and — far more importantly — take it to the groups to which you belong. Ask your group to sign and date the resolution; when you do, please send proof of adoption to email@example.com.
WHEREAS, in 2014, 60,000 children and mothers fled Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras because of gang violence, domestic violence and child abuse, seeking asylum in this country; and some of these children arrived unaccompanied;
Whereas, the issues these women suffer are issues important to women in this country, in this hemisphere, and across the world–issues of domestic violence, constant harassment on the street, stalking, femicide, child abuse, impunity for violence against women and children, second class citizenship, dire poverty, abandonment, single mothers with children, lack of access to health care; brutal murder and torture; subordination to men in economic, political, social life and in the home; total gender discrimination in ownership rights, civil liberties, family codes and physical integrity, low level of literacy due to inadequate educational systems;
Whereas, some of the detained women are indigenous Guatemalans who neither speak nor understand Spanish or English, and who are being incarcerated in the center without access to effective representation or representation of any kind, or the ability to communicate effectively with ICE or detention center staff;
Whereas, the US has assumed the responsibility, both by virtue of statutes it has adopted and by virtue of its ratification of the Convention Against Torture, of allowing asylum seekers the right to pursue relief from persecution or torture or both in the U. S.;
Whereas, up to 3600 children under the age of 18 and their mothers are being detained in centers that are operated by private contractors, GEO and CCC, in Karnes City (532 beds), Dilley, (2,400 beds) Texas, and Berks County, Pennsylvania, estimates range from $ 150 to $298 per person per day, paid for by US tax payers;
Whereas, some of the women and children held in detention are people who came to the U. S. and directly presented themselves to immigration officials, asking for asylum;
Whereas, prior to 2014, DHS generally did not detain families that arrived in the US seeking asylum and in addition DHS policy regarding individuals who passed credible fear screening and who pursued asylum claims, were generally released from detention.
Whereas, the majority of detainees have established “credible” or “reasonable” fear of persecution meaning there is a significant possibility they will be granted asylum, withholding of removal (will not be deported), or protection under the Convention Against Torture;
Whereas, these women and children remain detained due to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) No- Release policy of locking them up and refusing to consider them for release on bond, recognizance or parole, without an individual determination of whether they present any flight risk, danger to the community, or threat to national security;
Whereas, the DHS No-Release policy requires that these asylum seekers, women and children, go to immigration courts in every single instance, in order to seek individual custody determinations, and the costs of these additional and unnecessary court proceedings are also borne by U. S. taxpayers;
Whereas immigration judges typically find that these women and children pose no flight risk, are no danger to the community, and no national security threat; and these judges typically release these children without the necessity of bond but set bonds of $1500 to $7500 for their mothers;
Whereas, the U. S. is denying these Central American women and children equal protection under the laws based on both their nationality and gender;
THEREFORE, _______________________________(Name of Organization) or (“I”)
Request that DHS rescind their No-Release policy for these detainees;
Further, (I or) we request that DHS release from custody all persons detained in ICE detention facilities who have been determined to have a credible or reasonable fear of persecution in their home country and who have not been individually determined to be a flight risk, danger to their community, or national security, based on specific, individual factors.
SIGNED:_________________________ Date: _____________________
Title (if signing on behalf of an organization)____________________________
Please send confirmation that you have adopted this resolution to firstname.lastname@example.org
In earlier messages and posts, we accidentally wrote a different e-mail address. Please send copies of signed, adopted resolutions to email@example.com
For further information visit: endfamilydetention.com