Abolish ICE - Philly 3Oct2018

rally at at Rittenhouse Square

Abolish ICE - Philly (Their Twitter feed) held a rally at Rittenhouse Square on 3 October. Many of us have heard how ICE locks up children and keeps them locked up for extended periods.

The Berks County Residential Center is unusual in that it's for families and detention can be indefinite. It's important to residents of Pennsylvania because it's located in this state. Al Dia reports that:

In 2016, a group of mothers detained at Berks participated in a hunger strike after Jeh Johnson, then Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), claimed that the average length of stay at immigrant family detention centers in the U.S. was 20 days or less. These women contended that some families held at the time at Berks had been there for nearly a year.
Of course, the Trump Administration could easily have refused to follow the Obama Administration example.

rally for imprisoned migrants

Very disturbingly,
There have also been instances of inadequate medical attention for children detained at the center. In one example, as reported by AL DÍA in 2016, a mother held at Berks waited three months after requesting a medical evaluation for her 5-year-old daughter before her child was finally seen by a doctor.

The Morning Call says:

Operated by Berks County under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the federal agency responsible for enforcing immigration law — the center has been under scrutiny by human rights watchdogs who say it needs to shut down. They cite concerns about sexual assault, inadequate health care and the inhumanity of detaining children in what some say are prison-like conditions.

represents cages

Have our representatives been slacking off? Fortunately, no.

Sen. Bob Casey has urged the DHS under President Donald Trump to close the center and Gov. Tom Wolf has sought the revocation of the facility’s license, pressing the DHS to move the detained families into community settings.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Tom Wolf, who agrees with members of Congress who want to close the center, said Tuesday that the administration has revoked the Berks center’s child care license. That move is the subject of litigation within the state Department of Human Services. But even if it was upheld, the federal government could continue to operate the facility without the license, under a direct contract with Berks County.

So if you call Governor Wolf at 717-787-2500 and demand the shutting down of the family prison camp, in Berks County, you'll be giving him reason to strengthen his already-good efforts.

caged children

Concerning the detention issue generally, The blog Daily Kos has been keeping track of how many days it's been since a judge ordered ICE to reunite children and parents. The period is now 70 days

136 migrant kids continue to remain separated from parents, according to the most recent numbers from the Trump administration. Of those kids, three are age 5 or under. The parents of 96 kids have already been deported. Of those children, two are age 5 or under.

The blog reminds us that the separation crisis is entirely self-made. It was not forced upon the Trump Administration at all. They chose to separate children and parents and is choosing to keep them apart.


More migrant kids, who had been kept in other facilities or with relatives or other adult sponsors, have been moved to a big camp in Tornillo, Texas

This “temporary” prison camp has already been extended for a third time, and will explode from 400 beds this past summer, to as many as 3,800 beds by the end of the year. Officials will also deprive kids of some of their basic necessities: “The tent city ... is unregulated, except for guidelines created by the Department of Health and Human Services. For example, schooling is not required there, as it is in regular migrant children shelters.”