For Immediate Release:
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Alessandra Soler Meetze, ACLU of Arizona at 602-418-5499 (cell)/602-773-6006 (office)
COMMUNITY VIGIL CALLS FOR “DIGNITY NOT DETENTION”
Advocates Call for an End to Detention Contracts between
PHOENIX— A coalition of immigrants’ rights groups, civil rights organizations and community members from across the state will hold a vigil at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 7th at the Pinal County Jail (PCJ) in Florence to highlight abuses of immigrant detainees and call for an end to the detention contract between PCJ and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
According to a report recently released by the ACLU of Arizona, detainees at PCJ face conditions that jeopardize their safety and well-being including inadequate medical care, no contact visits with family, no outdoor recreation and verbal and mental abuse by jail personnel. Pinal County Jail is one of five detention centers contracted by ICE to detain 3,000 immigrant detainees on any given day in Eloy and Florence, Arizona.
Advocates are calling on ICE to terminate its contract with Pinal County Jail, which according to news reports makes about $36,000 a night – or $13 million a year – off its contract with the federal government to house immigrants.
WHAT: Vigil outside of Pinal County Jail in support of immigrant detainees
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, 2011
WHERE: In the parking lot of the Pinal County Superior Court (in the same plaza as the jail) at 971 N. Jason Lopez Circle in Florence, Arizona
WHO: The vigil is being organized by The Puente Movement, ACLU of Arizona, No More Deaths, The Restoration Project at Casa Mariposa, Corazón de Tucson, The Black Alliance for Just Immigration and other organizations and individuals
WHY: To support all of the people inside immigration detention centers and to bring awareness about misguided immigration detention policies that have led to the dramatic increase in the number of detained immigrants who are subjected to inhumane conditions and injustices perpetuated by county contracts with ICE.