JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS, FAITH LEADERS, IMMIGRATION ADVOCATES AND STATE LEGISLATORS DEMAND END TO ICE DETENTION AT WYATT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:

Aaron Regunberg
neveragainpvd@gmail.com

JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS, FAITH LEADERS, IMMIGRATION ADVOCATES AND STATE LEGISLATORS DEMAND END TO ICE DETENTION AT WYATT

Coalition calls for immediate action to end collaboration with ICE and abolish private prisons


August 20, 2019, PROVIDENCE, R.I.
—Never Again Action Rhode Island held a press conference at the Rhode Island State House on Tuesday morning to decry the violent attack on peaceful protesters the previous week at the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls that sent five people to the hospital and to demand that Governor Gina Raimondo and the General Assembly take whatever steps are necessary to shut down the Wyatt immediately and release all ICE detainees currently held there. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza was among the elected officials who spoke in support of Never Again’s demands. 

The group was also joined by a broad coalition of community organizations, including AMOR (Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance), Fuerza Laboral, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Board of Rabbis, Reconstructing Judaism, T’ruah (The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights), the Rhode Island Committee for Muslim Advancement, the Rhode Island Council of Churches, Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), and others, along with state representatives and senators.

Together, they issued the following statement:

“Last Wednesday, the ugly violence of U.S. immigration policy burst into the open. Wyatt guards attacked peaceful protesters with a truck and with pepper spray, in public and in front of cameras; just think what kind of violence they feel empowered to inflict on the vulnerable immigrants and asylum-seekers in their care, behind the walls of the prison. It’s clear that such a cruel and inhumane system cannot be allowed to continue to operate: not in this country, and not in this state.

In this moment of urgency, we stand together to make the following demands:

  • State leaders must shut down the Wyatt, now, and call for the release of all ICE detainees held there.

  • The General Assembly must pass legislation banning the operation of private, for-profit prisons in Rhode Island, to ensure that the Wyatt never reopens in its current form again.

  • Through legislation or executive order, Rhode Island must ban collaboration and cooperation with ICE in any form, at the state and local level.

We also urge state and local leaders to commit to Movimiento Cosecha’s Dignity Plan: an end to all detention and deportation, immediate legalization for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, and family reunification for everyone separated by detention and deportation.

‘Never Again’ means standing up wherever we see state-sponsored dehumanization and violence. The ancient rabbis taught, ‘It is not your duty to complete the work, but neither are you free to abstain from it.’ The fight to abolish ICE, close the camps, end family separation, and win justice for immigrants is larger than Rhode Island, but that does not absolve us of the responsibility to secure justice here in our own state. ‘Never Again’ means this fight isn’t over until it’s won. ‘Never Again’ is now.”

###

Never Again Action is a mass mobilization of Jews who are organizing to shut down ICE and hold the political establishment accountable for enabling both the deportation machine that has separated immigrant families across the U.S. for decades and the current crisis at the border.

We come together as a group of differently affiliated Jewish organizers, recognizing that we have seen this groundwork laid before. We understand it to be our community’s obligation to stand up when we see history repeat itself and to declare that Never Again means Never Again for anybody.


Alyssa Rubin