Immigration Panel on Grassroots Resistance to Immigration Detention

Moderated by Azadeh Shahshahani

ACLU of Georgia hosts By The People Immigrants’ Rights Lobby Day on March 3rd

The lobby day is co-sponsored by more than 55 organizations. To learn more about the event, see our flyer here > > >

To learn more about the ACLU of Georgia By The People Lobby days, see the schedule here > > >

ACLU of Georgia Release Fact Sheet on SB 6: Legislation that Violates Privacy, Invites Corruption, and Would Embroil Georgia in Controversy and Litigation

Senate Bill 6 has made headlines for its controversial provision taking driver’s licenses away from immigrants allowed to remain legally in the U.S. under a grant of deferred action and work authorization, which would make Georgia the only state to enact legislation eliminating a category of lawfully present immigrants from its drivers’ license statute.  However, SB 6 goes far beyond targeting DREAMers, victims of domestic violence, and other immigrants granted deferred action.

Read More > > >

Chaplain Employed by For-Profit Prison Accused of Whitewashing Immigrant Detention Abuses

The for-profit prison system in the United States is not only a major factor in the emergence of "manufactured crime," it also makes money off of a national war on Latino migrants through the "detention" (in other words, incarceration) of persons - including minors - seeking economic and security refuge in the US.

A ministry located in Georgia - Alterna: Love Crosses Borders (El Amor Cruza Fronteras) - that provides compassionate assistance to migrants from south of the Mexican border monitors the nearby Stewart Detention Center, run for profit by the Corrections Corporations of America (CCA). The facility is the largest incarceration complex specifically for migrants in the US, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Read More > > >

Mosque Controversy in Georgia

Muslim-Americans in Kennesaw, Georgia who had hoped to use space in a retail shopping center as a prayer center recently had to confront hateful and ignorant comments from some residents, accusing them of being "enemies" and "infiltrators."

Even though community members who had applied for the permit had agreed to parking and other restrictions, the Kennesaw City Council refused to issue a permit by a 4-1 vote. The city's "retail only" excuse quickly fell apart considering that the city council had granted a permit to a Pentecostal church in a retail center. This pointed to blatant discrimination.

Read More > > >

My Experiences at the CCA Operated Stewart Detention Center #ShutDownStewart #ExposeandClose

I was shocked and appalled to read the December 9, 2014 op-ed, “Report of nightmarish detention untrue,” by Rev. Joseph Shields of Stewart in response to the article “Living Nightmare for Detained Immigrants in Georgia” by Azadeh Shahshahani.  The picture painted of this prison by Rev. Shields, an employee of the Corrections Corporation of America, bears no resemblance to my experience at Stewart.

I was detained at Stewart from January to June 2011.  I crushed my toe and twisted my leg while working in the Stewart Detention Center’s kitchen for sub-minimum wages, and both injuries were undertreated.

Read More > > >

Faith Leaders Denounce Private Prison’s Use of Chaplain to Whitewash Record of Abuse

Open Letter to Corrections Corporation of America Laments the Use of Staff Chaplain to Hide Treatment of Immigrants Detained at Stewart Detention Center in Georgia

In December, faith leaders and immigration activists from around the country were strongly disappointed to read an op-ed titled “Report of nightmarish detention untrue,” penned by Corrections Corporation of America chaplain, Rev. Joseph Shields, and published in The Hill as a response to the article “Living Nightmare for Detained Immigrants in Georgia” by Azadeh Shahshahani. In response, faith leaders have addressed an open letter to Rev. Joseph Shields and the Corrections Corporation of America, calling on the corporation and the facility’s chaplain to “stand on spiritual authority, alongside the unjustly detained children of God, and against any actor, who dehumanizes, commodifies or mistreats those entrusted to his spiritual care, including his employer.”

Read More > > >

Immigration enforcement program to be replaced in jails nationwide

For years, immigrant rights activists have fought to shut down a controversial immigration enforcement program operating in jails in Georgia and across the nation.

Started during the George W. Bush administration, the Secure Communities program works by comparing inmates’ fingerprints against immigration records in federal databases. Supporters say the program has substantially curbed illegal immigration. Critics say it ensnares low-level offenders with families and deep roots in the U.S.

Read More > > >

Civil Rights Organizations Raise Concerns About New Profiling Policy

The Obama administration came out with new guidelines on racial profiling for federal law enforcement officers Monday. Several civil rights organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and the NAACP say the policy is a step in the right direction. However, the organizations are also concerned the guidelines don’t go far enough.

The new profiling policy includes gender, religion and sexual orientation. Previously, only race and ethnicity were covered. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke about the new guidelines while in Atlanta last week.

Read More > > >

Dekalb County Sheriff Rejects Unconstitutional Detention Per ICE Requests

Georgia #Not1More Looks to Prevent Future ICE Abuses

Members of the Georgia #Not1More coalition today announced the latest victory in their efforts to end unconstitutional detention per ICE detainer requests in Georgia.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey L. Mann has announced that, effective immediately, he will end submission to federal detainer requests, a centerpiece of the failed Secure Communities deportation quota program, without a warrant or other suffice.

Read More > > >

Senator Proposes Banning Driver's Licenses For Immigrants Granted Deferred Action

President Obama will unveil his executive action plan for immigration today. The president is expected to expand deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), a program that has allowed many who arrived illegally in this country as children to temporarily stay in the U.S. and apply for work visas.

One Georgia Republican lawmaker is already trying to combat the efforts.

A bill pre-filed by Republican state Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) would make getting a driver’s license illegal for those who qualify for deferred action status.

Read More > > >

Living nightmare for detained immigrants in Georgia

Reports are mounting of a living nightmare in Lumpkin, Georgia, at Stewart, a 1,750-bed detention facility housing immigrants facing potential deportation.  

According to multiple interviews with detained immigrants at Stewart, they are dealing with maggots in food, (http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/06/georgia_immigrant_detainees_riot_over_maggot-filled_food.html)   improper medical care, sweltering temperatures, and in many cases no communication with staff due to no translators on site. The Corrections Corporation of America operates the facility for profit, adding fuel to an already roaring fire of opposition. 

Read more > > >