by Kathy O’Leary, Pax Christi New Jersey
Pax Christi NJ is working with a coalition of groups in NJ that is fighting against the expansion of immigration detention in the Essex County Jail and a neighboring for-profit facility run by a politically connected company called Community Education Centers (CEC).
Please help us by forwarding a link to this petition to your lists, particularly to anyone you know in NJ: http://www.change.org/petitions/oppose-expansion-of-immigration-detention-at-a-jail-accused-of-inhumane-conditions.
So far we have 1000 signatures but we need to keep the pressure on county officials and on ICE.
At the end of this month ICE will be closing down the Elizabeth Detention Center, a facility we have protested against for 14 years (Yay!), but unfortunately they will be moving everyone to a jail that blocks access to clergy and lawyers and has been accused of human rights abuses. To make matters worse they will be providing outdoor recreation in an area that is surrounded by toxic waste sites and active polluters where air quality is a constant concern.
The deal to expand immigration detention in Essex County has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles including a front page story in the NY Times. You can read the times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/nyregion/political-links-seen-behind-essex-county-detention-center-bid.html
Here is more information on how people can get involved:
- Sign the petition, http://www.change.org/petitions/oppose-expansion-of-immigration-detention-at-a-jail-accused-of-inhumane-conditions.
- Forward the petition to your friends and family http://www.change.org/petitions/oppose-expansion-of-immigration-detention-at-a-jail-accused-of-inhumane-conditions.
- Attend an upcoming Essex County Freeholder meeting in person and ask them to explain their vote: http://www.essex-countynj.org/freeholders/site/index.php?section=meetings.
- Attend the protest rally and march in Newark on October 9, Redefining Cruel & Unusual Indefinite Immigration Detention for-Profit Amid Toxic Waste in Essex County, beginning at 1:30 pm at Peter Francisco Park Newark, NJ (right outside Newark Penn Station). Marching to and from: Essex County Correctional Facility; Delaney Hall 356 Doremus Ave, Newark, NJ: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=236419679741397
Thank you in advance for your help.