Please join us as we lift our voices in support of the individuals who continue to be detained in the Berks County Detention Center and call on Governor Tom Wolf and the Berks County Commissioners to #ShutDownBerks!
As part of the #TsuruRising weekend of action hosted by Tsuru for Solidarity, Japanese Americans and other allied communities are hoping to draw attention to the plight of immigrant detainees who are being held in the Berks County Detention Center.
This virtual vigil will feature a group of speakers that include Japanese American incarceration survivors and their descendants, frontline community members, and local advocates working within the Shut Down Berks Coalition.
A complete list of speakers will be added once all have been confirmed, but will include representatives from Tsuru for Solidarity, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Berks Stands Up, Sunrise Movement Berks, and others.
– Raise awareness of the human rights violation happening at the Berks Family Detention Center
– Build solidarity amongst AAPI and frontline community groups around this campaign
– Discuss an Action Plan, including pressuring Governor Wolf to close the facility through an Emergency Removal Order (ERO)
About Tsuru for Solidarity:
Tsuru for Solidarity is a direct action, nonviolent movement of allied organizations within the Japanese American community working to end immigrant detention. Tsuru for Solidarity is a way to give voice to the moral outrage of the Japanese American community at ongoing mass detentions in the US and to show solidarity with front-line immigrant communities fighting injustice, mass incarceration, and deportation.
About the Berks Detention Center:
Pennsylvania is one of two states in the nation that hosts a prison for immigrant children, known as the Berks County Detention Center, the others being Texas. Families have reported verbal abuse, workers’ rights abuses, medical neglect and in its first year of operation a mother was raped in front of other families.
Governor Wolf has known for four years that his administration could remove families from the abuse and neglect that they have been enduring in the Berks County Family Detention Center. The Governor’s administration has done the bare minimum to right the immoral and illegal detention of immigrant families. Families continue to be abused under the state’s watch. We need a Governor who goes beyond words, someone who takes action for the immigrant community. If he wants to count on the progressive vote, then he needs to act by issuing an emergency removal order on the Berks County Family Detention Center NOW.
In June of 2017 a federal judge ruled yet again that the detention of children is a violation of federal regulations. In December of 2019 Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a report calling for the closure of this site, stating in a press conference, “William Penn would likely be deeply embarrassed that this is happening on Pennsylvania soil.” Yet the BCRC has done nothing to comply with the judge’s order. The state is opening itself up to serious legal liability by facilitating BCRC ongoing violation of the court’s order.