National Petition: Demand for Full Review of El Paso Detention Center
Let's Bring Some Attention to the Injustices at the El Paso Detention Center: Make a Call & Ask for a Full Review!
1. Call Rep. O'Rourke @ 915-541-1400 &
"Hi, I was calling to ask the member to take a look at the injustice going on at the El Paso ICE center. This center is in the members district. There are a great many immigrants being held here despite already being approved for release months ago. Will the member of congress look into this issue?"
2. Call Acting Director John Sandweg @ 202-732-3000
"Hi, I was calling to ask for a full review of the El Paso Detention Center. It has recently come to light that a great many of the detainees inside are eligible for parole but have yet to be released. Please review the El Paso Detention Center!"
Abuses at the Detention Center:
In the past week we've received calls from the inside notifying us of the following issues:
- Over 100 cases where detainees are granted Credible Fear, provide sponsorship documents, and ICE officials still refuse to release. This in direct violation of Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) Directive No.: 11002.1, issued to go into effect January 4, 2010;
- Three cases of pregnant women detained in conditions detrimental to the health of their unborn babies;
- Several instances of harassment based on the individuals religious or sexual identities;
- Documentation only being provided in English, without access to interpreters. A majority of detainees are primary, non-English speakers;
- Over 20 cases of individuals being held despite clearly being eligible for discretion under the Morton Memo, issued in 2011;
- A case of a male detainee being refused proper medication;
- Arbitrary Credible Fear rulings; instances of two individuals with identical cases (detained together) with one granted and another failed;
- Over a dozen instances of long-term, unjust, detention resulting in the deportation of discretion eligible individuals.
The list of abuses of power we've identified in just this week continue to grow. These instances highlight a clear pattern and practice of abuse, one that is being fully endorsed by El Paso ICE leadership, and, by their inaction, ICE officials in Washington D.C.
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To Acting Director John Sandweg, Rep. O'Rourke, Rep. Gutierrez & President Obama:
I write to ask for an immediate review of the El Paso Detention Center. Recently, in light of the public cases of the Dream 30 who were detained there, it has come to my attention that a great number of immigrants are being unjustly held in the El Paso Detention Center despite having already passed their credible fear interview.
These detainees are being held in direct violation of Directive No.: 11002.1, as laid out by John Morton, the former director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This directive went into effect January 4, 2010; however, the ICE leadership from the El Paso sector continues to ignore it:
“…[W]hen an arriving alien found to have credible fear establishes to the satisfaction of DRO his or her identity and that he or she presents neither a flight risk nor danger to the community, DRO should, absent additional factors, parole the alien on the basis that his or her continued detention is not in the public interest.”
It is alarming to hear of numerous instances where immigrants are being detained at the El Paso Detention Center despite the fact that they do not pose any security risk, are not a flight risk, and their detention IS contrary to the public interest of the United States. One clear example of this failure to follow directive is the case of Tajinder, a native of India, who surrendered himself into the custody of Border Patrol in June of 2013. A month later, Tajinder’s credible fear interview was approved; however, despite providing proper evidence, he was informed that he would not be paroled. Tajinder’s father, brother, and many cousins have already gained legal status through the asylum process. It is clear that Tajinder presents a legitimate case and, yet, the officials at El Paso ICE refuse to release him.
The continued, extended, and unnecessary detention of immigrants, like Tajinder, is unacceptable. It is necessary to recognize that these actions are in clear violation of the memorandum issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These abuses call for a review of the entire El Paso Detention Center to ensure that discretion is being applied as laid out by Directive No.: 11002.1.
Violating the rights of those seeking safety within our nation is a fundamental virtue that we should hold dear and seek to uphold. Furthermore, violating the rights of those most vulnerable goes against the fundamental pillars of this nation. I urge you to investigate this matter immediately so that justice prevails.
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . ."