Group Slams Obama As Deporter-In-Chief on the Opening of the Artesia Family Detention Facility; Says WH’s Renewed Policy of Family Detention and Deportation Puts Women and Children at Risk for Political Points on Immigration

For Immediate Release

Group Slams Obama As Deporter-In-Chief on the Opening of the Artesia Family Detention Facility; Says WH’s Renewed Policy of Family Detention and Deportation Puts Women and Children at Risk for Political Points on Immigration

Statement from Silky Shah, interim executive director of the Detention Watch Network, on today’s announcement that the Obama Administration has begun incarcerating families at the Artesia Detention Center, a former law enforcement training facility in New Mexico

WASHINGTON - “Today, with the announcement of the opening of the Artesia Family Detention Center and plans to expedite deportations for women and children -  President Obama made clear that he is fully embracing his role as Deporter-in-Chief and as the president with the highest rate of immigrant detention in American history, with 478,000 detained in FY 2012 alone.  The White House’s willingness to sacrifice women and children for political cover in the national immigration debate is a new low.   We urge the Administration to immediately halt the renewed use of family detention, a policy that largely ended in 2009 after the decision to stop the detention of children at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Texas.  Families were released from Hutto due to outrage from advocates and policymakers citing abusive and unsanitary conditions, including children wearing prison uniforms, being held in prison cells with open-air toilets, and being threatened with alarming disciplinary tactics, including threats of separation from their parents if they cried too much or played too loudly.  Family detention is inhumane and abusive and should be stopped immediately.”

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The Detention Watch Network works through the collective strength and diversity of its members to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

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