LA RAZA OLVIDADA


Louisiana se está convirtiendo rápidamente en el epicentro de detención de migrantes

Este año pasado, Louisiana ha sido un papel clave en esfuerzos federales para detener migrantes indocumentados. Actualmente, Louisiana detiene a unos 8,000 migrantes en centros de detención privados, y la cifra está aumentando. En los últimos cuatro meses, Louisiana se ha convertido en un epicentro para la detención de migrantes—con la construcción de 4 facilidades con fines de lucro en zonas rurales. Esta expansión en particular es el resultado de estados fronterizos como California que prohíben los centros de detención privados. Así, ICE ha comenzado a mandar autobuses de solicitantes de asilo a Louisiana, creando este aumento drástico de encarcelamiento. La presencia de ICE este año ha aumentado en el sur por 50%.

El hecho de que estas cárceles se encuentren en zonas rurales de Louisiana, no solo aísla a los migrantes, sino que hace extremadamente difícil que un abogado represente casos para ellos. Estas ubicaciones calculadas han contribuido al hecho de que rara vez se libera a los solicitantes de asilo. En la oficina regional de ICE, en Nueva Orleans, niega casi todos los casos de solicitantes de asilo en Louisiana. Estas cárceles se convierten en una fuente principal de ingresos para la comunidad. En Winn Correctional Facility, que comenzó a detener a los migrantes en Mayo, los salarios de los empleados aumentaron de $10 por hora a $18.50. Los funcionarios locales han firmado contratos que garantizan millones en pagos al gobierno local. Un juez federal dictaminó recientemente que era ilegal a negar la liberación de los solicitantes de asilo.

Este mes pasado, Yoel Alonso Leal, un solicitante de asilo Cubano que ha sido detenido en varias cárceles mientras se le negó atención médica por su tumor pulmonar, fue confrontado con deportación. Incluso cuando los funcionarios médicos confirmaron que había el riesgo de morir en el avión, ICE continuó con el proceso de deportación. Innumerables activistas, médicos y abogados han protestado por este tratamiento. En el principio de septiembre, los activistas se manifestaron frente a la oficina del centro de ICE, exigiendo hablar con William Joyce, el director de la oficina regional. Joyce nunca apareció, lo que creó tráfico y resultó a 10 arrestos.

El 15 de Octubre, Roylan Hernandez-Diaz, un solicitante de asilo Cubano murió en su celda en  Louisiana’s Richwood Correctional Center. ICE informó que su muerte fue un suicidio mientras estaba en confinamiento solitario. En cualquier caso de la manera de la muerte, ocurrió

en respuesta a las terribles condiciones dentro la prisión. Nadie debe ser recluido en confinamiento solitario mientras busca su derecho de asilo pacíficamente en los Estados Unidos. El confinamiento solitario se reconoce como una forma inhumana y degradante de tortura.

A principios de este año, Southern Poverty Law Center y ACLU de Louisiana presentaron un caso contra la práctica ilegal de DHS y ICE que habían estado negando la libertad condicional a solicitantes de asilo. SPLC y ACLU ganaron el caso este mes pasado. El Juez de distrito, James Boasberg, concedió una conjunción preliminar que requiere ambos DHS y la oficina de ICE en Nueva Orleans a restablecer los procedimientos de acceso a la libertad condicional. Un mandato que fue creado en 2009 por DHS’ “Parole Directive” y también una parte de debido proceso de la Quinta Enmienda.

Louisiana es históricamente conocida por sus cárceles laborales como Angola y sus cifras de encarcelamiento masivo. Este aumento en la detención de migrantes está reemplazando a las cárceles que han sido desocupadas en los últimos años, debido a los esfuerzos de reforma de la justicia penal para reducir la población carcelaria del estado. ¿Cómo espera Louisiana evitar el título de “Estado con las cifras de encarcelamiento más altas”? si solo vamos a reemplazar las cárceles desocupadas con solicitantes de asilo? La lucha para terminar el encarcelamiento masivo es mano a mano con la lucha para terminar la detención de migrantes.


Louisiana is rapidly becoming a migrant detention epicenter

In the last year, Louisiana has played a key role in federal efforts to detain undocumented immigrants. Currently, Louisiana detains around 8,000 asylum seekers in private detention centers, and the number is only growing. Over the past four months, Louisiana has become an epicenter for immigrant detention, with the construction of four more for-profit facilities in rural regions. This expansion in particular is a result of states like California banning private run detention centers. ICE has begun shipping busses and busses of asylum seekers to Louisiana  (and some towards Mississippi), creating this drastic increase in migrant detention. Through this expansion, ICE’s presence this year has increased in the Deep South by 50%.

The fact that these prisons are in rural parts of Louisiana not only isolates the migrants, it makes it extremely difficult for a lawyer to represent cases for them. These calculated placements contribute to the fact that rarely any asylum seekers are being freed. ICE’s regional office, which is based in New Orleans, denies almost every case of asylum seekers in Louisiana. These prisons become a main source of income for the community. At Winn Correctional Facility, which began detaining migrants in May, employee salaries have risen from $10 an hour to $18.50. Local officials have signed contracts that guarantee millions in payments toward local government. A federal judge recently ruled that this refusal to release asylum seekers was unlawful.

Just this past month in Louisiana, Yoel Alonso Leal, a Cuban asylum seeker who has been detained in various immigrant jails while being denied medical care for his lung tumor, was faced with deportation. Even when medical officials confirmed he had a risk of dying on the plane, ICE continued with the process of deportation. Countless activists, doctors, and lawyers have protested this treatment. In early September, activists rallied outside ICE’s office downtown, demanding to speak with ICE regional field director William Joyce. Ten activists were arrested.

On October 15, Roylan Hernandez-Diaz, a Cuban asylum-seeker, died in his cell in Louisiana’s Richwood Correctional Center. ICE reported his death was a suicide while he was being held in solitary confinement. Regardless of the manner of death, it occured in response to the horrific conditions in the facility. No one should be held in solitary confinement while peacefully seeking their right to asylum in the United States. Solitary confinement is recognized as an inhuman and degrading form of torture.

Earlier this year, the Southern Poverty Law Center and ACLU of Louisiana filed a case against DHS and ICE’s illegal practice of denying parole to asylum-seekers, which was won this past month. District Judge James Boasberg granted a preliminary injunction which requires both DHS and ICE’s New Orleans field office to restore the procedures of access to parole as mandated by DHS’ 2009 Parole Directive and the due process of the 5th Amendment.

Louisiana is historically known for its exploitation of prison labor at Angola and its mass-incarceration rates. The surge in migrant detention is replacing prisons that have been vacated in recent years as a result of criminal justice reform efforts to reduce the state’s prison population. How does Louisiana expect to avoid the title of “state with the highest incarceration rates” if we’re simply going to replace vacated prisons with asylum seekers? The fight to end mass-incarceration is hand in hand with the  fight to end immigrant detention.


Algunas organizaciones en Louisiana para donar tu tiempo o dinero / Some Organizations in Louisiana you can donate time and/or money to:

Congreso de Jornaleros

Detention Lifeline

Amor y Solidaridad

Voces Unidas

Familias Unidas en Acción


CARTAS DE SOLICITANTES DE ASILO ENCARCELADOS

June 25, 2019

Today, through this letter, we let you all know of all of the abuses and human rights violations (within the River Correctional Facility) 1. How they separated me from my family without taking into account the evidence we presented that we are a legal family. 2. They made me do a Credible Fear Screening which they granted me with the possible benefit of parole, which the second day they declined me. They made me appear before a migration judge in River Correctional Center 6362 HWY 15 Ferriday, La 71334 in my case with strong proof that I present everything that has happened to me in Mexico, where I am originally from. June 14, 2019 being my third court date, my petition was denied without caring about our complete family separation. We are not eligible for any other benefit other than to be detained, where we are seen like animals, not like persons. We are bound hearing of our families abuse, and in my case up to death threats.

It’s not easy to face everything there is among us as adults. Sick people, by day these bad conditions are consuming us. Without hope of leaving, besides deportations, even presenting the evidence of the risk of being killed.

We ask for your help, please, so that our voices may be heard.

Thank you


(From a prisoner transferred from Tijuana to Mississippi to Louisiana)

In March, they transferred me like a high-risk prisoner handcuffed both by hands and feet until Tallahatchie (Correctional Facility), near Memphis. They never informed me about transfers. In this detention center there was bad treatment from the guards, and bad food, they locked us up like criminals in cells. ICE interviewed me and made me wait 15 days for a response, (the credible fear screening). The manager gave us a false hope that we would be maximum 20 days in another detention center, and then freed.

April 9th, I was transferred to Louisiana, like a high-risk prisoner, again handcuffed by hands and feet. As the days went by, we returned to have bad treatment again by the guards, the air-conditioning on maximum, the lights on day and night. Many people’s vision has been affected from the light. In the night, the officials enter and make a count of people, when they leave the bunker, they slam the door only to wake people. Whichever hour of the day they make a count, and they want all in their beds at that time. It doesn’t matter if someone’s eating or talking on the phone with their lawyer.


ilustración KARLA ROSAS