Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mass Incarceration of Immigrants is the Focus of a YWCA Discussion Tomorrow Night

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Tucson activists at an Operation Streamline protest in 2013. - COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL DAY LABORER  ORGANIZING NETWORK
  • Courtesy of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network
  • Tucson activists at an Operation Streamline protest in 2013.

Come learn about the mass incarceration of immigrants at the YWCA tomorrow night.

This is the third event the YWCA is hosting as part of their ongoing talks on the country's sentencing and prison system, and their effects on the community. Tucson-based immigration attorney Margo Cowan, Coalición de Derechos Humanos' Isabel Garcia and Caroline Isaacs, program director of the American Friends Service Committee, will focus on Operation Streamline, and its connection to private prisons' bed quota and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

A reminder of what Operation Streamline is:
Operation Streamline began in Del Rio, Texas back in 2005,  It made its way to Tucson three years later, and now operates in a total of seven border cities. After migrants are apprehended by the Border Patrol, oftentimes while crossing the Sonoran Desert, some are put in temporary detention facilities and others forced to sign paperwork in English, which many of them do not understand, and by doing so they agree to immediate deportation back to Mexico and other native countries. 

But every day, at least 70 migrants who are apprehended are then prosecuted in federal court. They get less than 20 minutes to talk to a public defender. They are shackled and given no option but to plead guilty to illegal entry, which leads to a sentence of up to six months in prison. They are then deported, except now with a felony conviction in their record. 
"The session will offer a context of why the Latino population is booming in prison right now, and how much state money is being allocated to Operation Streamline," says Liane Hernandez of the YWCA. 

Members of the group Mi Familia Vota will also participate. After the talk, they will help people register to vote for the upcoming elections.

The discussion is on Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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