Pastor Noe Carias preaches at a thriving Assemblies of God church in Los Angeles. He is also an undocumented immigrant. A devoted father, husband, and faith leader, for this one so-called “sin” he has been jailed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since July 24, 2017.
Pastor Noe’s family, friends, and faith community have been working ever since to free him from the Adelanto immigrant prison run by the for-profit prison corporation GEO Group. While Pastor Noe has used his time in detention to minister to fellow detainees, his faith community has pled for mercy to David Marin, a devout Roman Catholic and field director for the ICE office in Los Angeles. Director Marin is in a unique position to release Pastor Noe back to his church and his family right now—but he has declined to do so, despite receiving letters of prayer from the Los Angeles faith community throughout the summer on behalf of Pastor Noe.
Brave New Films has partnered with the organizers of the effort to free Pastor Noe on a new film—“No More Detention: Free Pastor Noe.” No matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, immigration detention is a human-rights crisis. In Trump’s immigration crackdown, nobody is safe—not parents, not children, not even members of the clergy.
According to ICE, Adelanto detains more than 1,600 human beings in a facility that Congress has condemned for egregious errors by medical personnel, a facility labeled the deadliest immigration prison in 2017, a facility where incidences of medical, physical, and sexual abuse by staff against detainees are constantly reported, a facility that even ICE’s own investigators criticized in 2012 for detainee neglect and abuse, a facility run by a for-profit company that has made billions of dollars imprisoning immigrants from all walks of life, including Christians, Jews, Muslims, and people of other faiths.
No human being should be jailed over their immigration status, but tens of thousands are every day in America. What’s outrageous is that this isn’t even necessary—immigration is a civil, not criminal, matter. But under current immigration law, undocumented immigrants have no guarantee to legal representation. People accused of murder have more legal rights than undocumented immigrants.
And according to one of ICE’s primary reasons for detaining immigrants—to ensure they appear for their immigration court hearings—detention is still completely unnecessary. According to Julie Myers Wood, who ran ICE during the Bush administration, 96 percent of immigrants that are offered alternatives to immigrant detention show up for their immigration-court dates. That attendance number is higher than the percentage of eligible Americans who voted in the 2016 presidential election (55 percent), the percentage of Americans who pay their taxes on time (81.7 percent), and the percentage of Californians who comply with traffic tickets (87.8 percent). In other words, we’re spending up to $225 million a day to imprison people just so they appear for a court date that they already attend 96 percent of the time.
This is a national shame, and it is incumbent upon all people to speak out against it. America is a country built by immigrants, a country that has been guided by immigrants of all faiths since its very first days. Join Brave New Films in speaking out against immigration detention—help free Pastor Noe and fight to free all the unjustly detained immigrants throughout our nation. In this moment of racial crisis in this country, join other faith leaders in speaking out against racism and bigotry. Watch “No More Detention: Free Pastor Noe” and share it with your community.