This article unfortunately overlooks an important source of over-incarceration. In "Jailed Without Justice," Amnesty International found that an average of 30,000 individuals are held in immigrant detention every day--up from 10,000 per day in 1996! This has happened because authorities fail to even consider effective, less expensive alternatives to detention. Furthermore, detainees do not even have the opportunity to challenge the grounds of their detention--even if they are legal residents or US citizens. Worse yet, these prisoners are often held in inhumane conditions. (See http://www.amnestyusa.org/uploads/JailedWithoutJustice.pdf).
You can help by calling your representatives and urging them to support the following legislation to address these issues:
HR 1215, The Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act (House)
S. 1549, The Protect Citizens and Residents from Unlawful Detention Act (Senate)
S. 1550, The Strong STANDARDS Act (Senate)
(I am the volunteer Legislative Coordinator for AIUSA in NJ. Thanks to Senator Menendez for introducing S 1549 and S 1550. Thanks also to Congressmen Payne, Holt, Rothman, and Sires for Cosponsoring HR 1215.)
Nov 3 2009 - 10:43am