July 30, 2012
NIYA Infiltrates Florida Detention Center to Prove Fraud of Obama Immigration Policy
Now demands full review of facility, jail organizing inside to continue
MIAMI—The National Immigrant Youth Alliance will hold a press conference today outside the office of Senator Marco Rubio to discuss our internal review of Broward Detention Center in Broward, Florida. Over the course of the last month, 7 undocumented NIYA organizers have intentionally placed themselves into deportation proceedings in an effort to enter the Broward Detention Center to organize with detainees who, according to the Obama administration, should no longer be facing deportation.
WHEN: 12:00 pm NOON EST
WHERE: Office of Sen. Marco Rubio (8669 NW 36th Street, Doral, FL 33166)
Since June 17, 2011, the Obama Administration has insisted that it has been using discretion in deportation cases which can be considered “low-priority,” or cause undue hardship for citizen family members. In June of this year, Obama announced extending deferred action to undocumented youth after we occupied his campaign offices for two weeks, costing his campaign thousands of hours of staff time. To date only 1.9% of such cases have actually been dropped. Our internal review is in line with these national averages.
In order to challenge Immigration and Customs Enforcement and GEO Group, Inc. which owns the facility, we have placed multiple NIYA members inside Broward Transitional Center to find people who are eligible for deferred action, are low-priority cases. In this one facility alone, we have found over 100 cases of people who, according to the Obama policies of the past year, should be released back to their families.
According to the information given to us by the organizers inside, there are:
- people inside Broward who have pending application for a U Visa;
- More than a dozen DREAM Act eligible youth;
- Over 60 individuals with no criminal record or prior deportations, some detained as passengers in vehicles;
- More than 3-dozen cases in which individuals are still eligible for discretion despite previous contacts with the system;
- Several cases of immigrants in need of immediate medical care, including one individual with a blood clot in his leg and another with a bullet in the spine;
Organizers within the center include Viridiana Martinez, a NIYA member from North Carolina and well-known activist in the state. Viridiana was detained a little over a week ago. Claudio Rojas, father of two, was detained in 2010 after his son was stopped at a port checkpoint, the same checkpoint Viridiana Martinez allowed herself to be detained. Claudio has been fighting his own deportation to Argentina for over three years and has recently launched into a religious fast until he and others are released. Claudio, just like Viridiana and the other organizers within this facility are low-priority deportations and, according to President Obama, they should be dropped.
In accordance with the June 17th, 2011, memorandum issued by the Obama Administration, we now demand a full and complete review of each detainee at the Broward Detention center and ask that all low-priority detainees immediately be released and their cases administratively closed.
NIYA will no longer allow GEO Group or other private prison corporations to profit off of shattered families and broken lives. We will continue to organize inside their jails until the president lives up to his promises. Case summaries along with the national petition can be found online at http://action.
The National Immigrant Youth Alliance is an undocumented led network of 27 organizations in 24 states. As NIYA we believe the only way to safeguard our communities is to empower, educate and most importantly, escalate.