[Media Alert] SUPPORT ADELANTO 9: CENTRAL AMERICAN ASYLUM SEEKERS ON HUNGER STRIKE BEING ABUSED BY ICE & GEO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUPPORT ADELANTO 9: CENTRAL AMERICAN ASYLUM SEEKERS ON HUNGER STRIKE BEING ABUSED BY ICE & GEO

WHAT: Press conference/rally in solidarity with the #Adelanto9

WHEN: Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Los Angeles Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA

WHO: Immigrant Youth Coalition, the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families,  Central American Resource Center of Los Angeles (CARECEN-LA), and National Day Laborer Organizing Network

LOS ANGELES CA | At 5:30am on Monday, June 12th, a group of 9 detained Central American asylum seekers launched a hunger strike in Adelanto Detention Center in Victorville, California, an immigration detention center run by the private prison corporation GEO Group. That same day they were attacked by guards, handcuffed, pepper sprayed, beaten, and put in isolation! They said that the other prisoners shouted for the guards to stop, but they did not. They were taken to the nurse, but were denied medical care. One of the hunger strikers was thrown to the wall so hard his crowns and dentures came off.

The protesters say that they will remain on hunger strike until their demands, listed below, are met:  

  1. Release on recognizance as quickly as possible without inflated bond amounts

  2. Bail set fairly for all prisoners

  3. Due process for all refugee seeking political asylum

  4. New and clean uniforms and undergarments for all incoming detainees

  5. More time for religious services

  6. No throwing away of detainees’ belongings

  7. Translation of all paperwork in native languages

  8. Clean water 24 hours a day

  9. Better food for detainees

Before entering Adelanto, the hunger strikers were participants in a Viacrucis (caravan) of several hundred Central American refugees. They spent five weeks traveling through Mexico, organizing other refugees along the migrant trails and train lines during Holy Week, and denouncing the exclusion and mistreatment of migrants by both the Mexican and US governments. The Viacrucis culminated in a mass convergence to support asylum-seekers crossing the US-Mexico border in Tijuana on May 9th, after which over a hundred participants were taken into custody by the the Border Patrol. They then began the process of struggling to win political asylum in the United States.

Marcela Hernandez from the Immigrant Youth Coalition states, “we denounce these horrible abuses towards the 9 asylum seekers who are just trying to advocate for their human dignity, we demand LA ICE Field Director release them on their own recognizes and that Adelanto Detention Center be Shut Down having a long history of abuse towards community.”

In the past few weeks, many of the refugee organizers have been conditionally released, but several dozen members of the caravan are still detained in 7 prisons across the United States. Immigrant Youth Coalition, the Human RIghts Alliance for Child Refugees & Families, NDLON, CIYJA and CARECEN-LA stand in solidarity with the #Adelanto9 and demand that their rights be respected and their demands met!

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[Media Advisory] Democratic Establishment Must End the Assault and Suffering of Central American Refugees in the U.S.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Media Advisory | Monday, June 6, 2016

Democratic Establishment Must End the Assault and Suffering of Central American Refugees in the U.S.

On the eve of the Democratic presidential primaries, the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families and other community organizations* demand that  Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democratic Party immediately halt the newly announced plans for deportations and raids, and provide a pro migrant platform that addresses the root causes of forced migration of Central American refugees.

On May 12, Homeland Security announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would launch a 30-day "surge" of arrests and deportations between May and June that would focus on Central American mothers and children. These raids will also target minors who have entered the country without a guardian and have since turned 18 years of age. This new wave of deportations comes after the January 2016 raids that targeted Central American mothers and their children.

Refugees and allies cannot ignore Secretary of State, Clinton’s major role in destabilizing countries in Central America, in particular the quick movement by Clinton in 2009 to consolidate the post-coup regime in Honduras. In the years that followed, Clinton, acting as Secretary of State, ignored multiple requests from members of congress to halt military aid to Honduras given the documented links between military personnel and the extrajudicial murders of activists and opposition leaders. Rather than address the human rights nightmare in Honduras, the U.S. government, under Democratic leadership, has tightened its friendship with the Honduran administration.

In the wake of the mass migration of children from Central America, the Obama administration requested $1 billion in aid to the region, $750 million of which was granted. While the U.S. voted to increase military spending in Central America, Clinton maintained that the children arriving at the border should be sent back as a way to deter further migration. In doing so, she ignored her role in creating the structural violence they were fleeing. As the leading candidate of the Democratic Party, refugees and allies demand Hillary Clinton take an active stance on this issue.

In lieu of continuing the policies of the Obama Administration and Democratic Party, which have created structural violence and human rights violations, the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees & Families demands that Clinton pressures that the Democratic Party and Obama Administration:

  1. Provide immediate temporary relief, such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), for Central Americans fleeing violence until the U.S. immigration courts, judges and the entire judicial system demonstrate their ability to treat Central Americans fairly.

  2. Halt all raids and deportations of Central American refugees and other migrant communities.

  3. Halt all repressive policies that punish and harm Central Americans, including, but not limited to, Plan Frontera Sur, which funds the detention and deportation of asylum seekers at the Mexico-Guatemala border without due process, and the border enforcement requirement of the Alliance for Prosperity, which seeks to further expand border militarization in Central America.

  4. End warehousing asylum-seekers, including children as young as infant age, in ice boxes, often called “Hieleras”, before transferring them to detention centers.

  5. Release all refugees in detention centers across the country, prioritizing women, children, and Transgender women and other LGBTIQ migrants.

  6. End the practice of shackling detainees, which include mothers, children and LGBTIQ migrants with GPS devices.

  7. Rexamine U.S. refugee policy and ensure the law is fair and just for Central American asylum-seekers.

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Refugees and Allies Protest Hillary Clinton’s Visit to Los Angeles: Demand an End to Raids and Deportations of Central American Refugees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Media Advisory | Monday, May 23, 2016

Refugees and Allies Protest Hillary Clinton’s Visit to Los Angeles:

Demand an End to Raids and Deportations of Central American Refugees

WHAT: Demonstration to protest Clinton and demand a stop to detention and deportation of Central American Refugees

WHEN: Monday, May 23, 2016, 4PM

WHERE: Wilshire Blvd & Rossmore Ave.

The Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families and other community organizations* will protest Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to Los Angeles on Monday, May 23, 2016. They demand that Clinton, the Democratic Party, and the Obama Administration halt the newly announced plans for deportations and  raids that will further terrorize Central American refugees.

On May 12, Homeland Security announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would launch a 30-day "surge" of arrests and deportations between May and June that would focus on Central American mothers and children. These raids will also target minors who have entered the country without a guardian and have since turned 18 years of age. These new wave of deportations come after the January 2016 raids that targeted Central American mothers and their children.

“ICE raids and terror in our communities is unacceptable and brutal,” said Nancy Zuniga, coordinator of the Human Right Alliance for Child Refugees and Families. “We demand Clinton, the Democratic Party, and the Obama administration to stop the raids and deporting refugees once and for all!” Nancy visited detained families at the Karnes Family Detention Center in Texas last year.

As Secretary of State, Clinton played a major role in destabilizing countries in Central America, such as the U.S. sponsored coup d'etat in Honduras in 2009, generating crisis and violence in that country leading to  mass migration of children. Other  Central Americans are also migrating to the U.S. due to state-sponsored violence and corruption. In 2014, Clinton  supported the deportations of unaccompanied Central American minors arriving at the border as a way to deter further migration, ignoring the structural violence they were fleeing and that she helped create.

In lieu of this structural violence and human rights violations, the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees & Families demands that Clinton, the Democratic Party, and the Obama Administration:

  1. Provide immediate temporary relief, such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), for Central Americans fleeing violence until the U.S. immigration courts, judges and the entire judicial system demonstrate their ability to treat Central Americans fairly.

  2. Halt all raids and deportations of Central American refugees and other migrant communities.

  3. Halt all repressive policies that punish and harm Central Americans, including, but not limited to, Plan Frontera Sur, which funds the detention and deportation of asylum seekers at the Mexico-Guatemala border without due process, and the border enforcement requirement of the Alliance for Prosperity, which seeks to further expand border militarization in Central America.

  4. End warehousing asylum-seekers, including children as young as infant age, in ice boxes, often called “Hieleras”, before transferring them to detention centers.

  5. Release all refugees in detention centers across the country, prioritizing women, children, and Transgender women and other LGBTIQ migrants.

  6. End the practice of shackling detainees, which include mothers, children and LGBTIQ migrants with GPS devices.

  7. Rexamine U.S. refugee policy and ensure the law is fair and just for Central American asylum-seekers.

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The Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families brings together organizations, refugees, and activists concerned with uplifting and defending the human rights of refugees and migrants, especially women, children, and LGBTIQ communities, who have been directly affected by forced migration as a result of U.S. political and economic policies. http://www.refugeerightsnow.com/

*Immigrant Youth Coalition, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Union del Barrio, Homies Unidos, Central American Youth Council, May Day Trans Queer Contingent, and CISPES-Los Angeles

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[Media Advisory] Statewide Protest Urges Sen. Feinstein and fellow Dem Legislators to Push for TPS for Central American Refugees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Media Advisory

Contact: Esther Portillo, (347) 585-7462, esther.portillo1@gmail.com

               Nancy Zuniga, (310) 433-1997, nzuniga@gmail.com

Statewide Protest Urges Sen. Feinstein and fellow Dem Legislators to Push for TPS for Central American Refugees: Children, Women, Unaccompanied Minors, and LGBTQ Detainees Must Not Suffer Another Day 

WHAT: Rally & Press Conference

WHEN: Monday, March 14th, 2016 @ 4pm

WHERE: Senator Feinstein’s Office: 11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

The Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees & Families in Los Angeles and Central American Refugee Action (CARA) in San Francisco will hold a press conference and rally at Senator Feinstein’s office on Monday 3/14 to call on the Obama Administration and Democratic Party to take action on the demands of Central American refugees and allies to end detention and deportation of refugees. Feinstein represents the state with the largest population of Central Americans--the groups will protest her in her hometown and in Los Angeles, the city with the largest number of Central American immigrants. 

The organizations condemn California Sen. Dianne Feinstein for refusing to sign-on to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) congressional letter demanding a stop to all raids and to consider Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for refugee families. More than 145 congresspeople also wrote a letter to express their outrage at this violation of their status as refugees, which Sen. Feinstein did not support.

“From 2009 to 2015, more than 60,000 children have made the dangerous journey to the US and currently hundreds of children and families are suffering inhumane and long detention sentences in private prisons run by the Department of Homeland Security - relief for refugees is a moral imperative, “ said Jennifer Carcamo of the Human Rights Alliance.

David Lemus, an organizer with Central American Refugee Action, remarked, “We are protesting Sen. Feinstein because we want her to see us in this crisis as directly affected people with our dignity in tact, united to demand justice for the most vulnerable children and families seeking to take refuge.”

Protesters demand that Sen. Feinstein, as chair of the Judiciary Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security, advocate for the communities she was elected to represent by urging the Obama Administration to immediately endorse the immediate expansion of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Central American refugee children, unaccompanied minors and their families, with special attention to protected groups, children, LGBTQ youth and women and fleeing violence, economic, political and environmental devastation.

 

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[IMMEDIATE RELEASE] Refugees and Allies will Protest President Obama’s Visit to Los Angeles: Demand an End to Raids & Deportations of Central American Refugees

Contact: Esther Portillo, (347) 585-7462, esther.portillo1@gmail.com,

              Nancy Zuniga, (310) 433-1997, nzuniga7@gmail.com

 Refugees and Allies will Protest President Obama’s Visit to Los Angeles: Demand an End to Raids and Deportations of Central American Refugees

WHAT: Demonstration to protest the Obama administration’s mistreatment of Central American Refugees

WHEN: Thursday, February 11, 2016; 4:30 PM

WHERE: Corner of Wilshire Blvd & Rossmore

The Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families will demand that President Obama end the terror on Central American refugees and will protest his visit to Los Angeles on Thursday, February 11, 2016 @ 4:30pm. The current ICE raids are instilling fear and terror in the lives of children in the community, many refugees and other undocumented migrants have been fearful of leaving their homes because they fear being detained by ICE.

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[PSA] Cómo protegerse y preparase para las redadas!

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Mothers Released from Family Detention Urge President Obama to NOT APPEAL Judge’s Decision

For immediate release: Agosto 3, 2015

Press Contacts: Esther Portillo, Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families esther.portillo1@gmail.com, 347-585-7462 

Anna Duncan, We Belong Together, anna@domesticworkers.org

For interviews with mothers please contact the individuals above.

Mothers Released from Family Detention Urge President Obama to NOT APPEAL Judge’s Decision

Letter from formerly detained moms to President Obama:

Dear President Obama,

It is an honor for us mothers to write to you with the respect you deserve. Our purpose is to be heard by you once again and that you respond to our pleas. We are mothers that were detained with our children at Karnes Family Detention Center for 11 months. We went through humiliations, discrimination, mistreatment, illnesses, and a lot of pain in light of not having a solution to our pleas. Many of us were released with a $10,000 bond and with an ankle monitor--that is humiliating. We urge you NOT to APPEAL the decision by Judge Dolly M. Gee and that all this nightmare end for so many families. The lives of the children and of our own have been scarred as a result of the frightening memories and horrible situations we lived through. We urge you to listen to our words and that you do not permit for more families to be locked up in detention. It is illegal to lock up children with their mothers. There are many other ways that this situation could be handled without locking up families. We come fleeing what is happening in our countries in Central America, protecting the lives of our children. This nation for us is our refuge and protection. We do not ask more than that and we urge you to end all detention. We must forge in our children healthy minds that are free from violence without having them go through the nightmare of being locked up for months. In detention, many things happen that people outside can’t even imagine because it’s not in the interest of those that enforce detention to have others know what really happens inside detention. In Karnes Family Detention Center there were abortions, children had seizures, children with cancer, children with kidney illnesses, 2-year-old with headaches, mothers going crazy and what they would do was deport them. There were two mothers that cut their veins. We don’t want the children to suffer. We are mothers. We have witnessed all that suffering. If you would like to speak with one of us and with our children to learn more about the situation that we lived through in detention, we will gladly do so.

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Refugee Families Deserve Real Freedom: NO to REFORMS, BONDS, DEGRADING ANKLE MONITORS AND AGGRESSIVE MONITORING BY ICE

Press inquiries can be made to:

Angela Sanbrano (CARECEN- LA),sanbranoangela@gmail.com,  (323) 371-7305

Esther Portillo (Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families- Texas) esther.portillo1@gmail.com,(347) 585-7462

August 2014, exactly a year ago, a nightmare began for thousands of mothers and their children when the Obama administration incarcerated them in family detention centers. These families were deprived of their freedom, some close to a year. Families underwent further trauma from being detained, children lost weight and were denied basic psychological and health services. Despite a judges order to release families, many continue to languish in detention, unknown to them when they will gain their freedom. Under international law, these families should have NEVER been incarcerated in the first place and all of them should be released immediately on their own recognizance.

 

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Letter to the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations Denouncing Human Rights Violations of Central American Refugees

July 8, 2015

United States Senate

Committee on Appropriations

The Capitol, Room S128 Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senators,

We, the undersigned human rights, religious, labor, immigrant rights, solidarity, and community organizations, wish to express our serious concerns about language in the House of Representative’s State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for FY16 that would further endanger Central American refugees and risks violation of international law and standards. As the Senate moves towards approving its FY16 Appropriations bill for State and Foreign Operations, we call on our elected officials to ensure that the bill respects and promotes the rights of people, including vulnerable children and families, fleeing serious harm to seek international protection abroad.

The House of Representative’s State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for FY16 contains language that conditions United States assistance to Central American governments on steps taken to “improve border security” and reduce migration of their citizens to the U.S. (see “SUSPENSION OF AID” Sec. 7045, page 172). These conditions would encourage the implementation of policies that violate the right of people to emigrate, a right enjoyed by all people, and would dangerously undermine the right of persecuted people to seek territorial access to a country of asylum.

 

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Freedom NOT Reform: Refugee Mothers and Children Demand their Freedom this 4th of July

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Esther Portillo (347) 585-7462, esther.portillo1@gmail.com;

         Nancy Zuniga  (310) 433-1997, nzuniga7@gmail.com

WHAT: Press conference/rally to demand freedom for refugee mothers and children and LGBTQ detainees in migrant detention.

WHEN: Thursday, July 2nd 2015 at 9 a.m.

WHERE: Los Angeles Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA

WHO: Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families and their supporters and allies

Visuals: Testimony from a recently released mom, testimony from a recently released LGBTQ migrant, statements from community leaders, posters, banners

LOS ANGELES CA | As the 4th of July approaches, a day that allegedly represents freedom and independence, the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families demands freedom for all detained families, as well as for all LGBTQ detainees. We cannot celebrate while thousands of mothers, children and LGBTQ refugees languish in immigration detention.

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