An editorial in The New York Times today summarizes the status of the administration’s decision to terminate its contracts with private prisons — or at least to study the question. It also suggests that the administration should re-think its use of prisons to house immigration violators who are not a threat.
As lohud.com reports, a select group of Pace students (Luis Rosario Rodriguez, Ryan Koleda, Maria Ouzlian, Jonathan Campozano, Amy O’Donohue, Karine P. Patino) along with Miguel Sanchez-Robles, Rebecca Merton, and professors Vanessa Merton, Thomas M. McDonnell, and Vikki Rogers, spent their ‘2016 spring break’ in Dilley, Texas assisting the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project by offering legal assistance to women and children apprehended by ICE who are seeking asylum status in the United States. This was an intense and intimate lawyering experience for the students in the Pace Immigration Justice Clinic, lead by Prof. Merton, who worked closely with detained Central American children and mothers in the country’s largest family immigration detention center. Not only were the students able to work with the incredibly intricate and arcane immigration asylum law – many of these women and children face physical danger or death in their native countries – but they did so in a context that, as one of the students reported, required them to gain sufficient trust to make the representation effective. As result of their efforts, more than 90 women and children were released to join family members already residing in the United States.
- Adrienne Sanders, Pace Students, Profs Help Asylum Seekers in Texas, Lohud the Journal News (May 2, 2016).
- Madlin Mekelburg, State Sued for Licensing Detention Centers, The Texas Tribune (May 3, 2016).
- AILA, CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, AILA Doc. No. 14100656 (Apr. 5, 2016).
- Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, Texas Officials Want Controversial Family Detention Centers to be Labeled as ‘Child Care’ Centers, Think Progress – Immigration (Feb. 8, 2016).
- Grassroots Leadership, The Facts About Family Detention: A List of Resources, Facts, and Media Coverage on Family Detention (Feb. 29, 2016).
- National Immigratnt Justice Center, Stop Detaining Families (last visited May 4, 2016).
- Migration and Refugee Services / United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Demanding Dignity: The Call to End Family Detention (2014).
- US ICE, ICE’s New Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas to Open in December (Nov. 17, 2014).
- Department of Homeland Security, US ICE, Supplemental Environmental Assessment for Housing of Family Units at the South Faxas Family Residential Center, Dilley, Texas
- CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project
- US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, South Texas Family Residential Center
- South Texas Family Residential Center