Photo: Richwood Corrections Center, where approximately 1,000 refugees of various countries are being held near Monroe, Louisiana.
Gloria La Riva and other PSL members have arrived in Monroe, northern Louisiana, to coordinate this weeks actions he abuse in Louisiana ICE jails. Community activists from around Louisiana will be attending to support the women who courageously gone on a hunger strike to demand asylum, not deportations.
Protests will be held on Monday, December 13, in two press conference/rallies to call for an end to abusive treatment and denial of basic rights to refugees and migrants in Louisiana ICE detention centers.
Monday, Dec. 13, 10 AM
LaSalle Detention Facility
830 Pine Hill Road
Jena, Louisiana 71342
Monday, Dec. 13, 1 PM
Richwood Corrections Center
180 Pine Bayou Circle
Monroe, LA 71202
Louisiana is responsible for the second largest ICE detention of refugees and migrants in the United States. Since 2017, its prison population of asylum seekers exploded after GEO, the world’s largest prison corporation, and prison company LaSalle Corrections rushed to fill their institutions through ICE contracts. When Louisiana’s state prison population dropped from 40,000 in 2012 to 27,000 in 2020, due to state reforms, the two corporate prison vultures swept in to fill the void.
With record detentions by the Border Patrol, and the profit incentive to imprison and hold the asylum seekers for months, an intolerable situation has arisen among the women and men. Louisiana’s rate of granting asylum is the lowest in the United States. According to the Advocate newspaper, while immigration judges granted 42% of asylum requests nationally between 2013 and 2018, Louisiana judges granted only 10% to 16% of cases. One judge, Agnelis Reese, denied every single asylum request between 2011 and 2018!
On December 2, 53 women went on a hunger strike at the Richwood jail to protest the asylum delays and abusive conditions. In recent days, communication has not been possible with the women to learn of their condition. Visits are being denied because of COVID restrictions, according to ICE.
It is critical that we shine the light on the plight of the women and men being wrongfully held. Asylum is a human right, yet the U.S. government, whether led by Trump or Biden, has forced asylum seekers to remain in Mexico, giving them a slim to nil chance that they will be granted entry. Countless other detainees have lived in the United States for up to many years, only to be caught in the anti-immigrant dragnet.
Protesters on Dec. 13 aim to get media attention to their plight, intensify public sentiment and pressure on the U.S. government that asylum must be granted, immigrants must be allowed to stay and raise their families safely. And all ICE jails must stop exploiting, abusing, denying adequate food, water and medical care. Stop punishing the refugees and migrants! No more deportations!