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NJAIJ is New Jersey's largest immigration coalition. Our membership-based effort includes labor, faith, policy, community-based, and grassroots organizations in every corner of the state. NJAIJ harnesses the power and strength of our membership to position immigrant communities as leaders in campaigns that advance justice, inclusion, and belonging. 

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[07.17.23] Biden Administration Sides With Private Prison Company CoreCivic to Keep Immigrant Detention in New Jersey

Michelle Ancil Michelle Ancil | June 29, 2023

Biden Administration Sides With Private Prison Company CoreCivic to Keep Immigrant Detention in New Jersey

Over 50 state, local, and national groups call on officials to protect New Jersey residents and shut down the Elizabeth Detention Center (EDC)

New Jersey, USA - This week, the Biden administration is expected to file an amicus brief joining private prison company CoreCivic in its attempt to keep an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) prison open in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The Elizabeth Detention Center, a converted warehouse with nearly 30 years of documented abuse, is approaching its contract expiration with ICE on August 31, 2023, and is barred from renewing its contract under a New Jersey state law signed by Governor Murphy almost two years ago. 

Biden Administration Sides With Private Prison Company CoreCivic to Keep Immigrant Detention in New Jersey

Over 40 local groups call on Governor Murphy and state officials to protect New Jersey residents and shut down the Elizabeth Detention Center (EDC)

New Jersey, USA - This week, the Biden administration is expected to file an amicus brief joining private prison company CoreCivic in its attempt to keep an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) prison open in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The Elizabeth Detention Center, a converted warehouse with nearly 30 years of documented abuse, is approaching its contract expiration with ICE on August 31, 2023, and is barred from renewing its contract under a New Jersey state law signed by Governor Murphy almost two years ago. 

This move follows a similar Biden administration strategy in California, where the administration fought to prevent a private prison ban from taking effect.

A united coalition of New Jersey groups, calling on Governor Murphy and local, state, and federal officials to defend their residents, offered the following statement:

“The Biden Administration’s decision to side with CoreCivic, the world’s largest private prison company, is bitterly disappointing but unsurprising. New Jersey is no stranger to the uphill battle it will take to remove ICE’s abusive presence from our communities, nor the megacorporations who seek to profit off of our communities’ misery. We are proud of our history of resistance that ended ICE contracts with local counties across the state. We will continue our pressure to ensure that the Elizabeth Detention Center is closed permanently, that all people are freed, and that the building is never used to warehouse people for any purpose again.

We are in a critical moment. With a little over a month left until the contract expires, the local and state elected officials who once condemned the EDC under previous administrations must step up and condemn it today. We want to remind them of the tremendous suffering and resistance to the Elizabeth Detention Center since it opened nearly 30 years ago. Tens of thousands of people, inside and outside the prison, have protested the inhumane conditions, and at least two people, Boubacar Bah and Victor Ramirez-Reyes, have tragically died due to their detention there

We will continue to demand action and honor the lives destroyed by US immigration policy. We urge communities across New Jersey to join our fight to end the unnecessary, inhumane, and abuse-riddled practice of immigration detention.

We urge Governor Murphy and all elected officials to provide a prompt and public response to rebuke the Biden administration's attempt to undermine New Jersey values.”

Signed:

AAPI Montclair

American Friends Service Committee

American Muslims for Palestine - NJ

ANSWER Coalition

Bend the Arc Jewish Action: South Jersey

Black Lives Matter Paterson

Council for American Islamic Relations - New Jersey

Casa Freehold

Communist Workers League

Cosecha NJ

Detention Watch Network

Democratic Socialists of America - Essex County

Democratic Socialists of America - North New Jersey

Fair Share Housing Center

Families For Freedom

Faith in New Jersey

First Friends of New Jersey & New York

FAITH+WORKS UU Congregation of Orange

Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast

Indivisible Brooklyn

International Defenders Council

Latino Action Network Foundation

Laundry Workers Center 

Make the Road New Jersey

Minkwon Community Action Center

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) 

National Domestic Workers Alliance

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

New Jersey Consortium for Immigrant Children

New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence 

New Jersey Forum for Human Rights

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

New Jersey Policy Perspective

Northern New Jersey NOW

Northern New Jersey Sanctuary Coalition

Occupy Bergen County

Our Revolution New Jersey 

Palestinian American Community Center

Pax Christi New Jersey

Riverside Church  

Salvation and Social Justice

Shalom Friends Detention Visitation Group                                               

Sojourners Detention Visitation Ministry

SPAN Parent Advocacy Network

Teaneck Peace and Justice Vigil

The Fund for New Jersey

The Interfaith Campaign for Just Closures 

The Mami Chelo Foundation

Unidad Latina en Acción NJ  

University of Orange  

Urban Leagues of Essex County

Urban League of Union County

Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center

Working Families Party New Jersey

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Media Contacts:

Jenny Garcia, [email protected]

Amy Torres, [email protected]

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