Immigration Justice Campaign is an initiative of American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and American Immigration Representation Project.

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Speak Out in Support of Alternatives to Detention

Template Letter to the Editor

We encourage you to use our template to submit a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. For help finalizing and submitting your letter, contact Kel Smith-Holbourn via justice@immcouncil.org.

The U.S. has the largest immigration detention system in the world. [If you are a volunteer: As a volunteer who assists detained immigrants through the Immigration Justice Campaign, I have seen the catastrophic toll that the punitive environment of detention can take on those in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.] The pandemic has revealed more than ever before how dangerous immigration detention can be and the critical need for immediate change. President Joe Biden can take immediate steps toward ending this system which threatens the health and well-being of those in its grip and impedes access to legal counsel. There are cost-effective and more humane community-based alternatives to detention that provide immigrants with resources and help ensure that they appear for their court hearings. Not-for-profit community service providers and civil organizations around the country are already providing medical, legal, housing and transportation services to immigrants. These services should be provided by these trusted organizations, not private companies motivated to increase profit margins. From May 2015 through October 2015, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) operated a pilot program providing case management services to immigrants that included housing for families and access to legal services. LIRS also ran a Community Support Initiative from January 2012 through December 2015 which screened vulnerable individuals in ICE custody for release. The people who were released through the program had a 97% appearance rate in immigration court. I am calling on the Biden administration to implement these commonsense alternatives to detention.

Sample Social Media

The below sample social media posts can be used to share information with your social media following about the need for alternatives to detention. These are tailored to Twitter using handles and hashtags but can be edited.

There are cost-effective and more humane community-based alternatives to detention that provide immigrants with resources and help ensure that they appear for their court hearings. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3kCbHdJ

The U.S. has the largest #immigration detention system in the world. I am calling on @JoeBiden to implement commonsense alternatives to detention. https://bit.ly/3kCbHdJ

The pandemic has revealed more than ever before how dangerous immigration detention can be and the critical need for immediate change. There are humane community-based alternatives. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3kCbHdJ