If you are in the Bay Area on November 5th, there is an opportunity to stand up against corporations that profit at the expense of the human rights of individuals in immigrant detention centers. Wells Fargo, one of many banks and corporations, reaps profits by investing in private detention centers that treat human beings as inferior beings, subject them to humiliation and violate basic human rights.
Contrary to the common portrayal of detainees as criminals, immigrants are not held in detention centers to serve time for crimes or felonies, but to wait the decision on their immigration court cases. These detention centers violate basic human rights, some of which were exposed in the recent PBS documentary by Maria Hinojosa, “Lost in Detention.” One of the most powerful quotes in a Colorlines article about the documentary, describing an instance when detention officers found lice, illustrates the violations:
“…they would take all of the women, they would undress them, they would strip them, they would have them strip all the beds, all the sheets, put this all into one big pile, that they’d go wash or destroy it. And then all the women had to stand in line for the showers, which are open, no privacy. And she said, “So there we were all standing in a line naked to go to the showers, and you know there’s this movie I remember seeing as a younger person, and I felt like I was in it. The movie was called ‘Schindler’s list.’”
Making matters even worse, individuals in detention centers not only suffer from physical and verbal abuse, but they are also denied basic health services and experience severe mental and psychological trauma. Immigrants entering detention may already have already experienced various forms of abuse. For example, the Huffington Post told the heart-breaking story of a woman who was raped by an immigration detention officer after fleeing persecution in Mexico for her sexual orientation. Detention centers deny needed care and exacerbate previous abuse or trauma.
Take Action against these injustices: On Saturday November 5th, 67 Sueños, a collective of undocumented youth and allies, is organizing an occupation of Well’s Fargo Bank in Downtown Oakland. Join us in the occupation to make a statement to Wells Fargo and others that we will not tolerate these inhumane violations.
Can’t make it, but still want to do something? Send a letter to Wells Fargo asking them to not invest in the prison industry and sign a pledge promising to close your bank account.
In the news
Muslims call for reforms 10 years after Patriot Act,The Washington Post, October 25, 2011
The report from Muslim civil rights advocates recommends policy changes and accuses the FBI of religious profiling and spying on mosques using informants.
As feds crack down, California courts more lenient on deportations, California Watch, October 26, 2011
While ICE has become more aggressive in making arrests, California immigration judges appear to be more lenient than judges in other parts of the U.S.
Critics See ‘Chilling Effect’ in Alabama Immigration Law, The New York Times, October 27, 2011
Section 28 of Alabama’s harsh anti-immigrant legislation requires schools to document immigration status of incoming students and their parents and pass this information to the state. Proponents of Section 28 argue that the data is needed to determine “performance or resource allocation issues” and that it is not passed on to law enforcement. However, critics of the law argue that the real motive is to instill fear in immigrant families leading them to withdraw their children from school, as evidenced by the recent erratic attendance figures.
Local Police Not Required to Hold Undocumented Immigrants for US Government, Huffington Post, October 31, 2011
Internal documents from DHS state that local jurisdictions are not required to hold undocumented immigrants for the federal government. Also, Santa Clara County is the latest in resisting its participation in Secure Communities.