We received this from an active group called CIVIC (Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement), which is the national immigration detention visitation network in the USA.
Visitation, visiting people inside immigrant detention centers, enhances their psychological wellbeing as well as their human need for companionship from outside, and it is also necessary to prevent human righs abuses from taking place or from being easily inflicted.
When people from the outside visit, those inside feel a little safer, knowing that those on the outside know their situation. And they get a break from being forced to be locked up for an uncertain amount of time. Visiting is very important, powerful, and very much needed. Here is what CIVIC wrote:
Everyday immigrants disappear and are detained by the U.S. government.
For example, Ana is a human trafficking victim who was detained for over a year, locked in solitary confinement, and forced by a guard to sleep on the cement floor of her cell until Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) ended this isolation and abuse.
Over 32,000 immigrants like Ana remain isolated in these remote detention facilities today because no
law protects a right to visitation, phone calls can cost up to $5.00 per minute, and 46% of detained migrants are transferred at least twice–often out of state and away from their families.
CIVIC is changing this reality by building and strengthening community visitation programs that are dedicated to ending the isolation and abuse of men and women in immigration detention. Visitation programs connect persons in civil immigration detention with community members. These volunteer visitors provide immigrants in detention with a link to the outside world, while also preventing human rights abuses by creating a community presence in otherwise invisible detention facilities.
CIVIC recently released A Guide to Touring U.S. Immigration Detention Facilities & Building Alliances, designed for communities across the country hoping to start a visitation program using ICE’s new Visitation Directive.
The benefit of this resource is that the general guidelines are tailored to the unique request of using the Visitation Directive as a tool to establish contact and set up a permanent visitation program. In addition, this manual provides an overview of some of the successes and roadblocks visitation programs have encountered in the first year of the Visitation Directive’s existence.
CIVIC is setting in motion a national movement to combat the isolating experience of immigration detention. To get involved or for more information, please visit their website at www.endisolation.org.
Also please visit this blog with a lot of information about immigration detention, made to make people aware of immigrant detention and visiting people inside these prisons: Detentiondialogues.blogspot.com
The Visitation Manual/Directive can be found here (PDF).
Here is a YouTube about CIVIC and visiting: