Reform of the US Immigrant Detention System: Family Detention, Privatization, and Lessons from the Criminal Justice and National Security Debates

Reform of the US Immigrant Detention System: Family Detention, Privatization, and Lessons from the Criminal Justice and National Security Debates

Event Date and Time September 25, 2015 2:00 pm
Event Ends September 25, 2015 5:00 pm
Venue Center for Migration Studies

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While the dramatic expansion of privately-run, family detention facilities has been the focus of the recent debate on the US immigrant detention system, there has been a far longer debate on the system’s overall viability. Most recently, a report by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) and Migration and Refugee Services of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops argued that the current system should be dismantled and entirely re-conceived.

CMS convened a panel of diverse experts to discuss the future of the US immigrant detention system, ideas for and barriers to reform, the system’s growing privatization, the experience of family detention in Texas, and cross-cutting issues and lessons from the criminal justice and national security field.

Moderator
Donald Kerwin
Executive Director
Center for Migration Studies

Speakers
Susan L. Burke
Attorney at Law
Burke PLLC

Mark Dow
Author, American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons

Judith Green
Justice Policy Analyst and Director
Justice Strategies

Michelle Mendez
Training and Legal Support Staff Attorney
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)


At this event, CMS showcased “Visions From The Inside,” a visual art project launched by CultureStrike, a national migrant arts organization, in collaboration with Mariposas Sin Fronteras and End Family Detention. These visual art interpretations created by a diverse line-up of 15 visual artists from across the US highlight the realities that migrants are experiencing inside of detention facilities, what led them to migrate away from their home countries, and the resiliency of the human spirit. The illustrations were based on letters written by detained women and children at the for-profit detention center in Karnes County, Texas.