Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Urge Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Freeholders to Vote to End IGSA Detention Contract With ICE
Posted by Intern Njaij1854 on November 24, 2020
NEW JERSEY -- Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 -- As Hudson County Freeholders prepare to vote on renewing the County’s Inter-Governmental Service Agreement (IGSA) contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that will continue detaining immigrants in the Hudson County Jail, the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice released the following statement:
“In a time when Black and Brown immigrant communities are demanding divestment from the unjust incarceration and detention systems that deplete our communities of resources to be able to thrive, the Hudson County Freeholders are looking to renew their toxic contract with ICE. New Jersey’s immigrant communities stand against the renewal of this contract and demand Hudson County officials invest in our communities by ensuring access to legal representation for immigrants rather than continue to collaborate with ICE’s detention and deportation system.
“Based on the Freeholder’s commitment in 2018 to ending the ICE contract by the end of this year, this vote should not be taking place. We call on the Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Freeholders to honor their commitment to end the ICE detention contract by voting no on renewing at today’s meeting.
Immigrant detention is an unjust system that doubly punishes individuals based on their immigration status and allows families to be separated in New Jersey. Hudson County must stop profiting from detaining Black and Brown immigrants in its jail for ICE and the consequent family separations it causes in our communities.
“We demand the Freeholders vote to end the ICE contract and lead the way in ending all detention and deportations in New Jersey and across the United States.”
New Year, New Team, New Session | Same Fight for Justice
Friends, I'm writing with a personal message this month. January marks one year since I joined NJAIJ and one year since we grew our team to include our Movement Building Coordinator, a role that has transformed how we empower immigrant communities all across the New Jersey. In my twelve months in coalition with you, I feel both grateful and galvanized. In that year, New Jersey also became the first state on the East Coast to ban ICE detention agreements. We became the 15th state to enact a status-neutral drivers' license program, and fought for a first-of-its-kind direct cash benefit program, the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund, to provide relief for households excluded from federal stimulus. We made history together, and I'm humbled by and in awe of your fight. It's January again and we are pleased to announce that we are growing our team again, too! I am thrilled to be joined in this work by advocates who have an unwavering dedication to social, racial, and economic justice. Please join me in welcoming:
January is a time of renewal and reflection. This month, we highlight Selaedin Maksut, Executive Director of the New Jersey chapter of Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ). CAIR-NJ is at the fore of the fight to designate January as Muslim Awareness and Appreciation month. Selaedin reminds us about the importance of reflecting on the legacies and movements that came before us and celebrating the richness of our diversity.
In Solidarity and Community, Amy Torres
It's a blessing to be a part of a social movement that stands on the frontlines. We proudly and humbly stand on the shoulders of those that came before us, and the legacies of those who did tenfold of what we are doing today. Championing these causes and being a voice for the voiceless is a huge honor and blessing," says Selaedin Maksut, Executive Director, CAIR-NJ
The Values Act was re-introduced in the Assembly and Senate as A1986/S512. The Values Act would provide critical protections that allow New Jerseyans to seek support from state and local agencies without fear of deportation. Tell your legislator you expect to see their support!
The incredible campaign behind the bill that banned new ICE detention agreements, renewals, and expansions was featured in the National Immigration Law Center's annual report on Winning in the States.
The report celebrates New Jersey's win by acknowledging the many fronts of the battle: "The anti-detention fight in New Jersey has been a decades-long movement...but with closure announcements and the ban on new and renewed contracts, New Jersey will not have any ICE detention centers after 2023."
In the midst of the news that major parts of the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund had been diverted and then quickly restored, New Jersey Policy Perspective released a report.
NJPP's analysis finds, "[e]ven if the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund were kept at its original funding level, it does not match the aid provided to others facing financial hardship due to COVID-19." The report goes on to say, "not only do payments...fall far short of the cost of living in New Jersey, but the size of the fund is also too small to reach all excluded workers."
Legislative redistricting is still underway but time is running out! Your voice is needed to make sure maps are fair, racially just, and representative of your community.
NJAIJ is a proud member of the Fair Districts coalition. Research shows that public testimony at redistricting hearings is effective when it offers specific instructions to mapmakers, focuses on small-scale changes (like keeping a neighborhood together), and effectively defines a community and its needs for representation. You are the expert on your community. Get involved!