Prisons and immigration detention centers have always been detrimental to healthy human life. Now, COVID-19 is exacerbating the unsafe living conditions of these facilities and exposing them for what they are. There can be no reform for a system that is designed to violently harm the health and spirit of incarcerated individuals.
IM4HI has assembled a resource list designed to give readers an introductory education on the dangers of COVID-19 in prisons and immigration detention centers and the overall inhumanity of these facilities to better inform an abolitionist mindset. You will find brief overviews on relevant topics, as well as additional reading materials for those who wish to learn more.
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity is part of the National Sanctuary Movement, which provides support for and solidarity with individuals and communities targeted by detention, deportation and exclusionary immigration policies.
Advocate at the local, state and national level for policies that end detention and deportation and promote their full dignity and integration into our local communities.
Advocate for policies which help to end detention and deportation and prevent deportation, and fear by creating clear separation between ICE and local law enforcement and civic institutions, for example strong sanctuary city and county policies.
Engage in local public actions and activities to shift public discourse towards immigrants, Muslims, and refugees, and bring attention to our responsibility to address root causes.
2. Accompaniment of Immigrant Families or Youth
Individuals and congregations can provide short or longer term support to immigrants in urgent situations and need of accompaniment. This can include newly arrived migrant families, unaccompanied minors, people facing deportation crisis, those just released from detention centers. Trained volunteers can help to provide courtroom accompaniment, access to services, translation, rides and concrete and emotional support to help those in a period of crisis.
3. Freedom Campaigns
Support the public campaigns of individual immigrants fighting to get released from detention
Connect with targeted communities to help develop relationship and networks of protection.
4. Congregational Housing
There are various kinds of needs for Congregational Housing:
Short-term respite housing for someone recently released from immigration detention.
Housing for a newly arrived immigrant family seeking asylum. On rare occasions, protective housing for someone facing a final order of deportation.
Depending on the case, housing hospitality could be in the private home of a congregation member, or on congregational property.