April 8, 2009
Hold DHS Accountable! Ask Congress for Oversight & Fairness in Immigration Enforcement
BORDC is joining with the Rights Working Group and Detention Watch Network for a National Week of Action to Hold DHS Accountable today, April 8, through April 15. Kick off your participation by taking action now!
Ask your representative to co-sponsor the "Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act," H.R. 1215.
Conditions in immigration detention have deteriorated as the numbers of people being held by ICE has ballooned from 95,000 people in detention in 2001 to more than 300,000 last year, and the number is set to grow again. More than 90 people have died in immigration detention since 2003, some from treatable diseases and conditions that were not tended to. People are transferred to far away detention centers without notice to their families or their lawyers, and often are placed in facilities that do not have working phones. Although the Department of Homeland Security has Performance Based Detention Standards meant to address these issues, the standards are not enforceable and no one can be held accountable if they are breached.
The "Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act," H.R. 1215, introduced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34), addresses many of these problems. The bill would:
- Create enforceable standards in the law to address medical care in immigration detention, transfers between facilities, telephone access, and sexual assault in custody;
- Enhance protections for vulnerable populations such as unaccompanied minors; and
- Require DHS to implement secure alternatives to detention.
This bill would go a long way towards restoring basic due process and human rights protections in immigration enforcement.
Please support the "Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act," H.R. 1215 by sending a letter to your representative to co-sponsor the bill.
See actions happening across the country during the National Week of Action and register your action! Email BORDC's grassroots organizer, Emma, for help getting started or to have your action featured in BORDC's next newsletter.