Firme la petición para cerrar Berks

El Centro de Detención Familiar de Berks, conocido como el Centro Residencial del Condado de Berks (BCRC), es una prisión para las familias inmigrantes, donde los niños tan jóvenes como de dos semanas de edad, han sido encarcelados, junto a sus padres.  En el 27 de enero de 2016, después de meses de presión de la comunidad y evidencia de violaciones de los derechos humanos en el BCRC, incluyendo una violación por un guardia, abusos laborales, y falta de atención médica para las familias y los niños, el Departamento de Servicios Humanos de Pennsylvania (PA DHS) publicó un aviso diciendo que no renovaría la licencia para BCRC, poniendo fin a la detención de familias en Pennsylvania.

La licencia se expirará el 21 de febrero de 2016 y desde el lunes 22 de febrero, BCRC no sólo estará operando sin una licencia y violando directamente la ley del estado, sino que también estará funcionando en violación de la ley federal, después de dos faltas de los tribunales federales contra el encarcelamiento de las familias y exigiendo su liberación inmediata.

Teniendo en cuenta el registro de las condiciones inhumanas y que la operación de BCRC está en contra de las leyes estatales y federales, exigimos que BCRC se cierre inmediatamente. PA DHS debe ordenar sacar de emergencia a las familias mientras la apelación está en proceso, los Comisionados del Condado deben cancelar su apelación y dejar de participar en esta práctica dolorosa e inhumana, y ICE debe poner fin a su política de detenciones familiares y hacerse responsable por su violacion de la ley Federal.

A: Ted Dallas

Order an Emergency Removal of families detained at Berks Detention Facility immediately. 


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Dear Theodore Dallas
Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of Human Services;I am writing today in regards to your January 27th decision to revoke the license of the Berks County Residential Center. We applaud your action to take the state of Pennsylvania one step closer to ending family detention. Although the removal of the license was vital victory to close the facility the county plans to continue the detention of families. Every day that these children and parents continue to be imprisoned, they are not only having their rights violated but they are further traumatized. That is why we are calling on your department to order an Emergency Removal of families while Berks County litigates an appeal process.The BCRC has shown “gross incompetence, negligence, misconduct in operating the facility or agency, or mistreatment or abuse of clients, likely to constitute an immediate and serious danger to the life or health of the clients.” As you already know the incarceration of families is not only immoral but the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that the detainment of children in the BCRC “puts them at greater risk for physical and mental health problems and unnecessarily exposes [them] to additional psychological trauma.” In addition to the illegal detention of children, in the last year alone Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Berks staff refused medical care for a child who vomited blood for four days. Further, in the first year BCRC refused nearly all requests for the release of detainees suffering from severe mental illnesses and who have been on watch for self-harm, including children. BCRC staff also failed to provide proper care for several children who suffered from a fungus that appeared on their genitals after being detained and instructed mothers to treat their children’s fevers of less than 100 degrees with a glass of water.The summer of 2014 a nineteen-year-old woman was the victim of institutional rape by a counselor at BCRC. The assault occurred in the presence of other incarcerated women and children. For four months after ICE and the center’s leadership learned of the assault, the young woman continued to be incarcerated with her three-year-old son and denied privileges. ICE’s only response to the sexual assault, other than firing the guard, was implementing a stringent dress code for the detained women. In addition to this incident of sexual assault, many families have reported verbal abuse from staff and neglect in regards to their physical and mental health. It is for all these examples of negligence, abuse and misconduct that we urge you to order an Emergency Removal of families, a power you have exercised in previous circumstances.Take action today, Secretary Dallas, and issue an Emergency Removal Order of illegally detained families in the Berks County Residential Center immediately.

Sincerely,

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The Shut Down Berks Campaign is a grassroots coalition fighting to shut down the Berks County Detention Center immediately and end family detention. Members include Detention Watch Network, GALAEI, Juntos, #Not1More, Migrant Power Movement, PICC, UUPlan and We Belong Together.

 

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