NOTICIAS DE ÚLTIMA HORA: Pennsylvania le da un golpe duro a centros de detención familiar

Action at Berks Detention Center

Pennsylvania le da un golpe duro a centros de detención familiar

Se niega la expansión del Centro de detención de Berks y son advertidos que cerrará a través de una carta enviada por el Departamento de servicios humanos de Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia, PA — Después de meses de demandar que cierren el Centro de detención del condado de Berks, una prisión que ha violado los derechos humanos de los que están dentro; de negligencia médica para los hijos y padres, a abusos laborales de los detenidos y la violación de de una joven de 19 años por un guardia del condado; el Departamento de servicios humanos de Pennsylvania (PA DHS) finalmente ha emitido una declaración en cuanto a la licenciatura ilegal del centro. En el verano del 2014 una violación sexual de una joven de 19 años tomó lugar dentro del centro enfrente de otros detenidos, lo cual llamó la atención de varios abogados y grupos comunitarios y los llevó a reaccionar y demandar respuestas. Después de esto siguió una negligencia médica exuberante de niños que llegó al punto de un niño vomitando sangre por cuatro días antes de recibir la atención médica apropiada, y después de muchos abusos laborales a manos del centro, en el que les pagaban a las mujeres $1 al día por limpiar las instalaciones y para junio del 2015, 20 mujeres detenidas empezaron una huelga de trabajo hasta que fueron liberadas.  Todo ese tiempo, PA DHS se mantenía al lado observando y nunca reportando sobre estas violaciones. Hoy ganamos una gran victoria, pues al fin han reconocido lo que esta coalición ha estado diciendo por meses, le deben de revocar la licencia el Centro de detención familiar de Berks.

La coalición para cerrar Berks ha tenido manifestaciones afuera del centro de detención con cienes de miembros comunitarios demandando que cierren el centro mientras las familias organizadas de adentro demandan su libertad. Hubieron protestas, conciertos y vigilias y en septiembre, miembros de la coalición (que incluye a Juntos, GALAEI, Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, UUPlan, Migrant Power Movement, Sheller Center for Social Justice, We Belong Together, #Not1More, Detention Watch Network y Human Rights First) entregaron el informe de Human Rights First “Detención familiar en el condado de Berks Pennsylvania (Family Detention in Berks County Pennsylvania),” que detalla los abusos desenfrenados que ocurren dentro, a oficinas de PA DHS en Philadelphia con una pedida oficial para que cierren el centro inmediatamente.

“Esto afirma las demandas que hemos hecho para que cierren el Centro de detención familiar de Berks y demuestra que DHS nunca debió haber licenciado a la instalación desde el principio. También demuestra que el DHS de Texas tampoco debe estar licenciado los centros de detención y que Berks no es un modelo de institución como Inmigración ha dicho que lo es. ¿Cómo puede serlo con todos los abusos de derechos humanos que ocurren dentro? Lo que no demuestra es que Inmigración tiene cualquier intención de cambiar su comportamiento hacia nuestras familias. Ted Dallas no tiene que esperar hasta febrero para liberar a nuestras familias o para cerrar Berks. Nosotros decimos, ni un día más en detención para nuestras familias y si él no lo cierra inmediatamente, nosotros lo veremos cuando marchemos a Harrisburg en noviembre,” dijo Erika Almirón, Directora ejecutiva de Juntos.

Jennifer Lee, Directora legal del Centro Sheller para la justicia social de Temple University Beasley School of Law, dijo, “El Departamento de servicios humanos de Pennsylvania ha ayudado en el confinamiento de niños y familias inmigrantes. Lo ha hecho a través de la licenciatura del BCRC, irónicamente, bajo la reglas promulgadas para ‘proteger la salud, seguridad y el bienestar de niños.’ Podemos pedirle a Ted Dallas, el secretario de PA DHS, que le ponga fin al apoyo estatal para la detención de familias con la revocación inmediata de la licencia del BCRC, liberando a familias inmigrantes, y cerrando la instalación.”

La Campaña para cerrar Berks es una coalición de base luchando para Cerrar el Centro de Detención Familiar de Berks inmediatamente y ponerle fin a la detención de familias. Los miembros incluyen a Juntos, GALAEI, Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, UUPlan, Migrant Power Movement, Sheller Center for Social Justice, We Belong Together, #Not1More, Detention Watch Network y Human Rights First. También queremos darles las gracias a todos los abogados pro-bono que han trabajado sin descanso para representar a las familias en detención o en procedimientos de deportación: Caitlin Barry, David Bennion, Jackie Kline, Bridget Cambria y Carol Anne Donahue.

Organizaciones que han firmado en apoyo de la campaña para cerrar Berks

1love Movement

Action AIDS

ACTION United

Buxmont UUF Peace and Justice Committee

Casa San Jose

Cambria and Kline Law

Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)

Coalition of African Communities in Philadelphia (AFRICOM)

Comite de Lucha Pro Licencia, Harrisburg

Conference of Major Superiors of Men

Department of Anthropology – Georgetown University

Detention Watch Network

Disciples of Christ Refugee and Immigration Ministries

Families for Freedom

GALAEI

Georgia Detention Watch

Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights

Grassroots Leadership

Human Rights First

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Jarochicanos

JJ Tiziou Photography

Juntos

Keystone Progress

Latino Advocacy

Law Office of Karenina Wolff, Esq

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Michelle Angela Ortiz

Mina Mart

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment

Migrant Power Movement

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium

National Justice for Our Neighbors

National Latino Network: Casa de Esperanza

New Sanctuary Coalition of NY

New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia

Not1more

NWDC Resistance

Pathways

PCCY

Pennsylvania NOW

Philadelphia Family Unity Network

Philadelphia JACL

PICC

Pittsburgh LCLAA

Philadelphia Student Union

Raices

Restaurant Opportunity Center of Philadelphia

Sisters of the School of Notre Dame

Society of the Holy Child Jesus

South Philly Barbacoa

Taller Puertoriqueno

Taqueria Los Jimadores

Taquitos de Puebla

Therapy Center of Philadelphia

Tortilleria La Familia LLC

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

US Human Rights Network

UUPLAN

Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia

We Belong Together

William Way Community Center

BREAKING NEWS: Pennsylvania Strikes Major Blow to Family Detention Centers

Blogpost Berks Press Release

Pennsylvania Strikes Major Blow to Family Detention Centers

Berks Detention Center Denied Expansion and Warned of Shut Down Through Letter Issued By PA Dept. of Human Services. 

Philadelphia, PA — After months of demanding the shut down of Berks County Family Detention Center, a prison that has violated the human rights of those inside; from medical neglect of children and parents to labor abuses of the detainees and a rape of a 19 year old by a county guard, the PA Department of Human Services finally issued a statement in regards to the illegal licensing of the center. In the summer of 2014 an institutional sexual assault occurred inside the walls of the center of a 19 year old in front of other detainees, which prompted the attention of many attorneys and community groups to react and demand answers. This was then followed by the rampant medical neglect of children which led to a child vomiting blood for four days before receiving proper medical attention and after much labor abuse at the hands of the center, in which they paid women $1 a day to clean the facilities, by June of 2015 20 detainees launched a work strike until they were released. All the time PA DHS stood by and watched, never issuing a report on these violations. Today is a major victory, as they finally have recognized what this coalition has said for months, Berks County Family Detention Center should have their license revoked.

Outside the detention center the Coalition to Shut Down Berks has held rallies with hundreds of community members demanding the closure while inside families organized demanding their freedom. Protests, concerts and vigils were held and in September coalition members (which include Juntos, GALAEI, Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, UUPlan, Migrant Power Movement, Sheller Center for Social Justice, We Belong Together, #Not1More, Detention Watch Network and Human Rights First ) delivered the Human Rights First report “Family Detention in Berks County Pennsylvania,” which details the rampant abuses occurring inside, to PA DHS offices in Philadelphia with an official ask to shut down the center immediately.

“This affirms the demands we have made to shut down the Berks Family Detention Center and shows that DHS should have never licensed the facility to begin with. It also shows that Texas DHS should not be licensing the detention centers and that Berks is not the model institution ICE has claimed it to be. How can it be with all the human rights abuses occurring inside? What it doesn’t show is that ICE has any intention of changing their behavior towards our families. Ted Dallas does not need to wait until February to release our families or to shut down Berks. We say not one more day in detention for our families and if he doesn’t shut it down immediately, we will see him as we march in Harrisburg in November ” said Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos.

Jennifer Lee, Legal Director of the Sheller Center for Social Justice of Temple University Beasley School of Law, said, “The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has aided in the confinement of immigrant children and families. It has done so by licensing the BCRC, ironically, under rules enacted to “protect the health, safety, and well-being of children.” We call on Ted Dallas, Secretary of PA DHS, to end State support for family detention by immediately revoking the BCRC’s license, releasing immigrant families, and closing the facility.”

The Shut Down Berks Campaign is a grassroots coalition fighting to Shut Down Berks Family Detention Center immediately and end family detention. Members include Juntos, GALAEI, Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, UUPlan, Migrant Power Movement, Sheller Center for Social Justice, We Belong Together, #Not1More, Detention Watch Network and Human Rights First. We want to also thank all the pro-bono attorneys who have worked tirelessly to represent the families in detention or in deportation proceedings; Caitlin Barry, David Bennion, Jackie Kline, Bridget Cambria and Carol Anne Donahue.

Organizations who have Signed on to the Shut Down Berks Campaign

1love Movement

Action AIDS

ACTION United

Buxmont UUF Peace and Justice Committee

Casa San Jose

Cambria and Kline Law

Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)

Coalition of African Communities in Philadelphia (AFRICOM)

Comite de Lucha Pro Licencia, Harrisburg

Conference of Major Superiors of Men

Department of Anthropology – Georgetown University

Detention Watch Network

Disciples of Christ Refugee and Immigration Ministries

Families for Freedom

GALAEI

Georgia Detention Watch

Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights

Grassroots Leadership

Human Rights First

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Jarochicanos

JJ Tiziou Photography

Juntos

Keystone Progress

Latino Advocacy

Law Office of Karenina Wolff, Esq

Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Michelle Angela Ortiz

Mina Mart

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment

Migrant Power Movement

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium

National Justice for Our Neighbors

National Latino Network: Casa de Esperanza

New Sanctuary Coalition of NY

New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia

Not1more

NWDC Resistance

Pathways

PCCY

Pennsylvania NOW

Philadelphia Family Unity Network

Philadelphia JACL

PICC

Pittsburgh LCLAA

Philadelphia Student Union

Raices

Restaurant Opportunity Center of Philadelphia

Sisters of the School of Notre Dame

Society of the Holy Child Jesus

South Philly Barbacoa

Taller Puertoriqueno

Taqueria Los Jimadores

Taquitos de Puebla

Therapy Center of Philadelphia

Tortilleria La Familia LLC

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

US Human Rights Network

UUPLAN

Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia

We Belong Together

William Way Community Center

Pope Francis Blesses Daughter Fighting to End Her Father’s Deportation

September 2015 was a historic moment not just for Philadelphia but for the Immigrant Rights movement. In his six days in the U.S. , Pope Francis made justice for immigrants a central point of his visit. He implored to the U.S. Congress that,

“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War…”thousands of persons (who) are led to travel north in search of a better life. We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation…To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal…We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us once were foreigners.”

During his visit in Philadelphia over 100 Juntos members held a vigil and sunrise procession to Independence Hall from our office in South Philadelphia. One Juntos family was especially touched by his grace. Adamaris, oldest daughter of Alma Sanchez, is fighting with her family for the release of her father and an end  to his deportation. While waiting for the Pope this 11 year old created a sign asking for the Pope’s help. While arriving the Pope paused to read her sign and give Adamaris a blessing.

We know that this family will be reunited again, and with a blessing from the Pontifex and with support from community and allies we will have Adamaris’ father released.

Congratulations to our DACA scholarship winners!

daca

DACA applications can be a long and difficult process, especially when going about it alone. So this past Sunday at Juntos we held a legal clinic to help young people complete their applications. With the support of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), we had trained volunteers and pro-bono attorneys available to help people get screened for DACA, start their applications, and complete them.

DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a way for undocumented young people who came into the United States before June 15, 2007 and were under 16 when they came to get a temporary work permit and protection from deportation. Applications cost $465.

The PFT also donated three full scholarships for the young people who participated in the clinics, which were raffled out after the clinic. Below are the three lucky winners:

Annaline Cerón

Ricardo Alejandro Perez
María Teodoro

Felicidades!

If you or someone you know needs help on their DACA application, contact us at 215-218-9079.