Monday, September 08, 2008

The Detention Watch Network

School has started again and I have a list of things that need posting because I fell asleep at the wheel for a while. There is a website that tracks and locates all of the immigration detention centers in the entire United States. The Detention Watch Network has listings for courts, community organizations and useful information about the facilities. The interactive map
 helps find the aforementioned facilities closest to you. This is a tremendous resource for anyone who knows of anyone who may have been arrested, in the process of being deported or may be seeking information. 
Designed to increase awareness about the hidden and rapidly expanding detention system, the map includes in-depth information about the far-flung network of 350-plus detention centers, private prisons, and local jail facilities that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to detain immigrants. “It is incredibly difficult to find someone once they have been detained.  Family members, lawyers and friends will now be able to use this map to locate their loved ones. It will also be a critical resource for advocates and provide a strong visual tool to educate the U.S. public and policy makers about this hidden system,” said Andrea Black, Network Coordinator.
With so many stories in the last month dealing with people being deported, this web site will hopefully help those in need. There's the story of a young woman who was brought here to the U.S. at an early age and grew up in the here. She got caught using a fake social at the library she was working at and is now being deported even though people in the town say it's wrong for ICE to do so. Then there was that raid that got 595 immigrants arrested in Mississippi that was a time bomb waiting to explode because many residents in that community felt that Mexicans were taking all their jobs. 
Fabiola Pena considered running away from her factory job when she realized she was being targeted in a federal immigration raid. She was deterred when she noticed the helicopters hovering overhead. But helicopters were not what shocked Pena the most on her last, fateful day at Howard Industries, the largest employer in this small Southern town. It was the black co-workers who clapped and cheered, Pena said, as she and hundreds of other Latino immigrant laborers were arrested and hauled away. "They said we took their jobs, but I was working from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.," said Pena, 21, a day after the raid last week that resulted in the arrest of nearly 600 suspected illegal immigrants. "I didn't see them working like us."
The raids are never going to stop and neither is all the hate and bigotry in America. That's why we all have to help them see the truth and stop being angry at people who only want a better life for themselves and their kids.