Sunday, March 25, 2012
Immigration Incarceration: The Expansion and Failed Reform of Immigration Detention in Essex County, N.J.
NYU Law School's Immigrant Rights Clinic, in cooperation with New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees, has released a report "Immigration Incarceration: The Expansion and Failed Reform of Immigration Detention in Essex County, N.J." It was presented at an immigration detention conference on Friday at Rutgers-Newark law school.
This report takes a hard look at the outcome of detention expansion and “reform” of immigration detention in Essex County, New Jersey. Although immigration detention has always been justified as non-punitive, and the rhetoric from the Obama Administration has emphasized a reform of the civil immigration detention system, in recent years there has been an expansion of immigration detention even while detention facilities fail to meet the 2008 and 2011 Immigration and Customs Enforcement Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS).
What is currently happening in Essex County is an example of what occurs when expansion of immigration detention fails to coincide with any meaningful review of the system currently in place. Every indicator of the conditions and treatment of immigrant detainees in Essex County shows a detention system that is failing to meet the bare minimum of humane treatment and due process. What’s more, the increase in the number of immigrants detained and the conditions of their detention are contrary to promises for reform and prosecutorial discretion at the national level, as well as assurances of oversight at the local level.
After providing a history of the rise of immigration detention in Essex County, this report will delve into the experiences of detainees who are held in the two facilities—the privately owned and operated Delaney Hall and the Essex County Correctional Facility (hereafter “ECCF”).
Part I of the report chronicles the expansion of detention in the United States, specifically the expansion of detention in Essex County, NJ, including information about the two immigration detention facilities in Essex County: Delaney Hall and ECCF.
Part II will focus on who is being detained in Delaney Hall and ECCF.
Part III will present information about the conditions in Delaney Hall and ECCF for immigrant detainees.
Part IV concerns access to legal services and due process for immigrant detainees in Essex County.