Activists in New York and other cities launch a campaign to ask the U.S. government to respect human rights in its immigration detention system.
Tag: Varick Federal Detention Facility
On New Year’s Day, Jean Montrevil was detained in an immigration lockup. Less than a month later, after being freed following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, he will stand outside another jail where immigrants are held to protest the laws that placed him a breath away from deportation.
New York police on Tuesday arrested eight clergy members and two community activists who were demonstrating outside a Lower Manhattan immigration detention center against the likely deportation of civic activist Jean Montrevil.
Jean Montrevil, a founder of the local branch of the New Sanctuary Coalition and a legal U.S. resident born in Haiti, was detained by immigration authorities on Dec. 30 during one of his monthly check-ins and is now awaiting deportation at a York, Pa., jail.
On the day that President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway, pro-immigration activists in New York were ready to remind him of what they consider a human rights crisis in the United States: the condition in which thousands of immigrants are detained throughout the nation.
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Most of the thousands of New Yorkers who walk by the Varick Federal Detention Facility every day are probably unaware of its existence, but the immigration jail on Hudson Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village holds thousands of detainees every year.
Over one third of those detainees “had reasonable claims” for being released, but most didn’t have access to legal counsel –not guaranteed to immigrants under U.S. law– and many were shipped away from New York, some before a “volunteer lawyer could finish researching the case,” says a report released Monday by the New York City Bar Association’s Justice Center.
The document (click for pdf) –reported on first by The New York Times— also found that 90% of those who had been granted bond were unable to raise the funds necessary for their release and remained in detention.