There is a crisis. Immigrant communities have suffered from an increase in detentions and deportation in recent years. During President Barack Obama’s administration alone, we had record numbers of deportations. By 2011 there were already 1 million, the highest number during any presidency in the history of the U.S. By mid 2012, there were already 1.5 million.
The criminalization of immigrant communities continues to spread across the United States. In Florida, we are seeing the effects of programs like Secure Communities, 287g and CAP: separating families, stopping DREAMers and instilling terror and fear. In recent years, anti-immigrant legislation has been pushed not just in Arizona or Alabama, but in Florida as well.
Broward Transitional Center (BTC), run by the GEO Group, is one of [number] immigrant detention centers in Florida. At full capacity, it can hold 595 men and 105 women, all of whom are “low-priority” individuals like fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers imprisoned like criminals. For private prisons, these individuals are profits, and our communities pay the price.
But We are Florida and we are fighting to keep hate out of our state. FLIC and its members have worked to keep private prisons out of our backyards, winning a spectacular victory over CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) in June 2012. Our members took faith and justice to the steps of the Florida Legislature in 2011, to halt a proposed Arizona copycat bill. They are ready to do it again if necessary. More and more community members are teaching themselves and others to know their rights and are fighting for their detained brothers and sisters.
Learn more about what your role can be in this struggle. FLIC supports our member organizations when advocating for individual cases, and we concentrate our efforts on working for policy changes that affect a large number of people.