March 8th – International Women’s Day

March 8th – International Women’s Day1pm action at the Berks Detention Center, which is now incarcerating women immigrants! (more information below)

1040 Berks Rd, Leesport, PA 19533
in coordination with Detention Watch Network’s Day of Action (March 3)

Contact Tonya at g.immigrationjustice@uuberks.org from the FUUBC immigration team for more information and/or follow Shut Down Berks Coalition (on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) or the Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness on Facebook for updates.
Take action in the meantime (or if you cannot make it on March 8th):

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Note: The FUUBC immigration Team recently voted to sign the “Shut Down Berks Campaign Sign On Form: End the ICE Contract Now” – for our team to  support the goals of the Shut Down Berks Coalition in this new phase of their work.

Background:

Earlier this month the Shut Down Berks Coalition received confirmation that ICE had resumed immigrant imprisonment at the Berks sometime in January 2022. We call on the Biden administration to immediately release these women and permanently close the Berks immigrant prison. 
ICE has used the Berks family prison for over 20 years to incarcerate immigrant families, including children as young as 14 days old. After years of community resistance, the Biden administration released all people incarcerated at Berks on February 26, 2021. In September 2021, despite strong opposition from community members, ICE and the Berks County Commissioners reached an agreement to reopen and repurpose the Berks County Residential Center to detain women as young as 18 years old. Today, the facility is incarcerating as many as 65 immigrant women and girls.

Detaining women at this facility is dangerous and cruel. ICE has an established history of abuse and violence against women in its custody. Berks is the same facility where a staff member was convicted for raping a 19 year old mother in 2014.

President Biden’s stated priorities endorse an immigration system that “welcomes immigrants, keeps families together, and allows people across the country—both newly arrived immigrants and people who have lived here for generations—to more fully contribute to our country.” However, his actions betray this promise and perpetuate the cruelty employed by the Trump administration as a tool for deportation. Detention is unnecessary, immoral, and results in family separation and isolation.

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