[PAST] Mother’s Day Action: Resist the Raids, FAMILIES KNOW NO BORDERS

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Alberto Flores (617) 513-6653
Carol Gomez (617) 448-0993
Dimple Rana (781) 521-4544

Mother’s Day Action: Resist the Raids, FAMILIES KNOW NO BORDERS

Mother’s Day is a time for celebration for mother’s everywhere. Yet, for women in prison and immigration detention this is not the case. This is why we are taking a stance on Mother’s Day for all the women who are imprisoned and detained across the USA. Large scale women’s imprisonment has resulted in an increasing number of children who suffer from their mother’s incarceration and detention and the loss of family ties. Families should Know No Borders.

Sunday, May 10, 2009
1:30pm - Marchers gather in front of South Bay Corrections and Detention Center
2:00pm - Procession proceeds from South Bay entrance to 93 on-ramp.

Journey: Meeting at South Bay Corrections and Detention entrance 20 Bradston St, Boston 02118


People directly affected by raids, detentions, and deportations
Resist The Raids Coalition
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (Massachusetts)
American Friends Service Committee Proyecto Voz
API Movement
Boston Interpreters Collective
Boston Liberation Health Group
Boston May Day Committee
Center to Support Immigrant Organizing
Centro Presente
Deported Diaspora
Jobs with Justice
The Latin American Law Student Organization of Northeastern University Law School
Massachusetts Global Action
MataHari: Eye of the Day
Social Workers for Immigrant Rights
South Asians for Progressive Action (SAPA-Boston)
Union of Minority Neighborhoods
Worcester Coalition for Immigrant Rights



According to Amnesty International, more than 400,000 men, women and children are detained by US immigration authorities each year. The majority of immigration detainees are held by state and county jails under agreements with the federal agency. They include asylum seekers, torture survivors, victims of human trafficking, longtime
lawful permanent residents, and the parents of US citizen children. The use of detention as a tool to combat unauthorized migration falls short of international human rights law, which contains a clear presumption against detention. Everyone has the right to liberty, freedom of movement, and the right not to be arbitrarily detained.

Everyday in Massachusetts, approximately 800 immigrants and asylum-seekers are in detention in county jails around the state waiting to be deported or fighting a legal battle to stay in the country. None of those persons are serving sentences for having committed a crime. They have not been judged by a jury or their peers.

Each year immigration judges, powerless to take into account a child citizen’s needs or safety, order thousands of parents removed due to mandatory deportation.

Detainees report that ICE agents used threats, coercion and physical force...Some reported threats of forced sedation, others of forced removal from their cells and transfer to vans and planes.

Overcrowding - In some facilities, detained immigrants sleep side by side with inmates in cells meant to hold one person that currently hold two or three.

Punitive - Detainees reported being held in the same unit or the same cell with violent criminals; having to submit to strip searches and cell searches; unhealthy food and dirty water; a lack of access to bathrooms; difficulties in receiving visits from lawyers and family members; a phone system that makes it excessively expensive to call loved ones; no access to a legal library; no access to an outside recreation area; no access to educational services and no access to newspapers or reading materials.


Over 100,000 parents of U.S. child citizens were deported from the United States between 1997 and 2007.

Over 15% of US families include at least one child citizen and a parent who is a non-citizen.

Nationwide, deportations have increased, with nearly 350,000 immigrants forcibly removed from the USA through September 2008, compared with about 174,000 in the same period in 2004.

ICE created a network of approximately 400 jails and detention facilities around the country where it now holds over 31,000 persons on any given day.

In New England, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported over 3,800 people during fiscal year 2008.

In 2008 there were more than 2.3 million people behind bars, the United States leads the world in both the number and percentage of residents it incarcerates.

Since 1997, the United States has deported 2.5 million people.


The Sentencing Project reports that two-thirds of women in state prisons are mothers of a minor child.

The number of women in prison has increased at double the rate of men since 1985, 404% vs. 209% as documented by The Sentencing Project.

Women constitute roughly 10 percent of the annual 400,000 immigration detention population.

In 2008, 10,653 women were detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to agency spokeswoman Cori Bassett, 965 of those women - nearly 10 percent - were pregnant. Many of them, were raped on their way to the United States-a journey known to be dangerous for any willing to take it, but especially so for women.

For pregnant women in immigration detention facilities, it is virtually impossible to obtain an abortion. According to Bassett, in fact, "Preliminary records indicated that during fiscal year '08 and '09 to date, no detainee has had a pregnancy terminated while in ICE custody." Not a single one. Human Rights Watch investigated facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) itself, as well as privately-run facilities and state and local prisons and jails where immigration detainees were held by contract with ICE. Women report a wide range of problems, from delayed medical care and denied medical screenings to inadequate sanitary supplies when they have their periods.

Operation Panty Drives organized around the USA to provide panties and bras to women in ICE detention. Women are not provided with underwear so they have to wear the same everyday or not wear anything.

A photo opportunity will be available at this event.

More information can be found at www.resisttheraids.org or by email resisttheraids@gmail.com


Resist The Raids is a Coalition of individuals, groups, organizations, and communities directly
affected by raids, detentions, and deportations.