National and local leaders from the Detention Watch Network (DWN) today will release a series of reports titled “Expose and Close” to reveal the widespread pattern of mistreatment at 10 of the worst immigrant detention centers across the country.
The speakers will call on President Barack Obama to close these detention centers and issue a list of reforms to ensure the safety, dignity, and well-being of immigrants held in detention.
LIRS, which helped found DWN in 1997, was proud to sign on to the “Expose and Close” letter to President Obama, which cites disturbing findings from the report, including:
- Roberto Medina-Martinez, a 39-year-old immigrant, died at Stewart in March 2009 of a treatable heart infection. An investigation conducted following his death revealed that the nursing staff failed to refer Mr. Medina for timely medical treatment and the facility physician failed to follow internal oversight procedures.
- A man with serious emotional health problems in the Houston Processing Center in Texas was placed in solitary confinement for months at a time, a practice which the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has deemed torture.
- At Hudson County Jail, an HIV-positive woman was not receiving any medication until a local NGO intervened.
You can check out the Daily Kos preview of “Expose and Close” here.
DWN was founded by LIRS, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in 1997 in response to the rapid growth of the immigration detention system in the United States, as a result of the immigration laws passed by Congress in 1996. Since its inception the network has transformed into a membership-based coalition which now includes over 80 religious, civil, immigrant and human rights organizations as well as many individual members.
We’re excited that DWN is releasing “Expose and Close” and hope these reports move you — and the president — to stand with immigrants in detention!