Rep. Judy Chu Joins Advocates and Experts Urging President Obama to Immediately Close the Artesia Family Detention Center in New Mexico
This week, Detention Watch Network released the findings of their latest “Expose and Close” report on the Artesia Family Residential Center – documenting the conditions facing families currently detained in Artesia, New Mexico.
The report outlines how conditions at the Artesia Family Residential Center, specifically the barriers to legal access, broken asylum process, interference with telephone communications, deficient medical and mental health care, lack of childcare and educational services, and the inadequate conditions for good health and wellness create dangerous conditions that undermine the wellbeing of women and children under U.S. custody. Moreover, the report documents the dramatic rise in the use of family detention by U.S. officials – skyrocketing more than 1200% in the last 3 months alone.
VIEW THE REPORT HERE: http://bit.ly/exposecloseartesia
Said Madhuri Grewal, Policy Counsel at Detention Watch Network:
Although the White House has framed the situation at the border as a humanitarian crisis, its response to refugee families arriving at the border is inhumane, alarmingly punitive, and based on aggressively expanding the government’s model of incarcerating and deporting immigrants at record rates. We are disappointed that on the day we release this report, ICE is publicly announcing its plans to incarcerate thousands more women and children in the coming months. DWN calls on the Obama administration to close Artesia and all family detention facilities. The administration should also cancel plans for a new 2,400-bed family detention center in Dilley, TX and instead divert funds toward providing refugee support to the families and children arriving at the border.
Added Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA):
The administration’s increased use of family detention is extremely concerning. These women and children have fled the Northern Triangle region, some of the most dangerous countries in the world, to seek protection in the U.S.—and instead they face prolonged detention while they fight their asylum claims. Let’s be clear, there is no way to detain families humanely. As this important report details, these facilities detain a particularly vulnerable population with poor access to mental health care and legal counsel. I am particularly alarmed by children and their mothers – many of whom are victims of domestic violence – being held in prison-like conditions that betray our country’s role as a leader in refugee protections.