Family detention is the systematic incarceration of asylum-seeking mothers and children, mostly from Central America. Currently there are three detention facilities in the country, located in Berks County, PA; Karnes City and Dilley, TX.
Recently there has been an increase in babies and small children held in prison-like portable units equipped with several bunk beds, heavy iron doors, and surrounded by barbed fencing. Imagine spending a month in an arduous search for safety in a new country, then spending part of your childhood in jail, stripped of possessions like baby blankets, binkies, and bottles.
Members of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) committee on family detention have been planning an event that would draw public attention to this inhumane practice and push ICE and DHS to rethink their policies on families fleeing violence in their home countries. The plan is to have local groups deliver symbolic baby supplies to the 24 ICE offices around the country with encouragement to end family detention. The hope is to draw local media attention to the action.
The committee has been working hard and have developed some materials to help with these efforts. On the Clinic Legal website, you will find a flyer (Diapers in Detention), a toolkit, and several graphics for social media from which to choose. Visits can take place any day from August 29 to Sept. 1st. If you are interested in hosting an event or participating in one already being planned, please contact Sr. Marie Lucey at email@example.com.
For more information about family detention, please visit www.cliniclegal.org/CARA.
A list of the 24 ICE offices in the country can be found as an attachment below.