Immigration reform - specifically on the detention of immigrants - is bordering on a point of political transformation. The DHS announced this week that the US government will no longer hold detainees in prisons. I wrote a quick template letter the editor for Amnesty on this issue and I wanted to share it -
Recently the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that immigrants detained in the United States will no longer be held in prisons during their detention. The decision by Secretary Napolitano is an important step but this only one step.
The United States expects to detain more than 440,000 immigrants annually including asylum seekers, lawful permanent residents, survivors of torture and U.S. citizens.
Amnesty International reported in March that immigrants can be detained for months or years without any form of meaningful individualized review of whether their detention is necessary. The vast majority of people in immigration detention are unable to obtain the legal assistance necessary to present viable claims in court.
New legislation from Congress is needed to ensure all immigrants and asylum seekers have access to affordable bonds and individualized hearings on the necessity of detention.
Amnesty International member