A broad coalition of 60 local, national and international organizations filed an urgent action appeal to the United Nations on October 26th, 2016, urging them to issue an opinion to the U.S. government to immediately close all family detention centers and end the practice of family detention.
For over two weeks expert rapporteurs from the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) toured the United States in October, 2016. The WGAD consists of a panel of 5 experts from across the world and on Monday, October 24, 2016 released a statement with their preliminary findings on U.S. human rights abuses as it pertains to detention and incarceration abuses, including family detention. They said, “Various governmental, inter-governmental and advisory have recommended that family detention be abolished. The Working Group supports those conclusions.” We applaud the UN’s statement on family detention but we believe the urgency of these families requires more and immediate action as their human rights are being violated every day.
The urgent appeal details how family detention violates our families human rights because:
- Deterrence Is Never a Legitimate Government Purpose for Family Detention.
- Detention Violates the Best Interest of the Child.
- Detention of Families Is Not Necessary Given the Alternatives that Exist.
- Detention of Families Violates Federal and Local Law.
- Family Detention Interferes with the Right of Refugees to Seek Asylum
- The Process and Procedures for Detaining Families Is Unfair.
This appeal is also filed on the heels of the Department of Homeland Security’s own Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers (ACFRC) announced that their own primary recommendation is to end family detention all together and that if family detention is to continue at all it must adopt all 166 pages of recommendations that they have put forth. The draft of the full report can be found here.
Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos, said, “For far too long our families have had to wait to be free from the tortures of family detention. We filed with the United Nations today in hopes that the U.S. Government will see that the issue of family detention is now a global one, an international issue and the eyes of the world are watching. Human rights abuses are not just happening in other countries, but in our very own backyards and we must work together to put an end to these abuses.”
This urgent appeal is filed and supported by the following organizations
Social Justice Lawyering Clinic, Sheller Center for Social Justice, Temple University Beasley School of Law
Detention Watch Network
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC)
The Kairos Center
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
U.S. Human Rights Network
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
ACLAMO Family Centers
ACT UP Philadelphia
Asian Americans United
Black and Brown Workers Collective
BuxMont Peace and Justice Committee
BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
BuxMont UU Fellowship Peace and Justice Committee
Children’s Health Center
Clinicians for Healthy Families
Franciscan Action Network
Free Migration Project
Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
Global Women’s Strike/US & UK
Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano
Immigrant Detainee Accompaniment Program
Lowry Family Health Clinic
Make the Road Pennsylvania
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Michigan Solidarity Network
Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Movement of Immigrant Leaders in Pennsylvania (MILPA)
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Justice for Our Neighbors
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
Payday men’s network/US & UK
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Philadelphia Storytelling Project
Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians)
School Sisters of St. Francis
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York Social Justice Committee
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, PA
Unitarian Universalist PA Advocacy Network
Waco Immigration Alliance
Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike/US & UK