AI Justice Secures Release for Domestic Violence Survivor

AI Justice had to reach out to officials in Washington, D.C. to obtain justice for "Elisa", a survivor of domestic violence who was detained at the Broward Transitional Center (BTC) for a year despite an Asylum Officer's finding that she had a credible fear of persecution if deported.  Her long-term detention exacerbated the trauma she suffered back home at the hands of her abuser.  While detained, Elisa was repeatedly hospitalized for treatment of depression, and prescribed a cocktail of drugs which only worsened her condition.  BTC's own doctors recognized that BTC was an inappropriate environment for her and requested Elisa's removal from the facility.  
The immigration judge at BTC wrongfully denied Elisa's asylum case and we appealed his decision and won. Although a new date was set for Elisa's asylum claim to again be considered, her deteriorating mental state prevented her from helping prepare her case.  After local officials denied Elisa's release, we contacted officials in D.C. and she was finally united with her sponsor in Miami.  In the short time since, she has recovered significantly and finally feels safe and free.

Haitians Released From Wrongful Detention

In 2013, AI Justice secured the release of forty Haitian asylum seekers from detention.  They had no criminal history and had relatives in the U.S. (either citizens or legal permanent residents).  Despite an ICE policy that allows Haitians without criminal histories to remain here temporarily, these Haitians languished in detention for months if they requested an asylum interview.

Detainees across the U.S. have faced serious delays while in detention waiting for their asylum interviews and then for the decision on their asylum claim.  AI Justice is among a small group of national advocates who are working to fix this problem.


Statements Filed for Congressional Detention Standards Hearing

AI Justice filed three Statements to the Congressional Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement for the hearing "Holiday on ICE:  The Department of Homeland Security's New Immigration Detention Standards" in 2013.


Abuses at Broward Detention Center Uncovered

AI Justice's 2013 report, Broward Transitional Center:  A “Model” For Civil Detention, examines systemic abuses of immigrant detainees at this detention center. Though the center has been heralded by the U.S. government as a “model,” AI Justice attorneys documented dehumanizing treatment, substandard medical care, and sexual assault, as well as the lack of due process, legal counsel and meaningful oversight. The report tells the stories of dozens of immigrants who suffered such abuses.


Detention Conditions Exposed in Baker County

In November 2012, as part of a nationwide campaign launch coordinated by Detention Watch Network, advocates released a report, “Expose and Close,” designating Florida's Baker County Jail as one of the ten worst immigration detention centers in the country and detailing the widespread pattern of abuse there.  AI Justice took the lead on the investigation of the Baker County facility.  The report found that ICE detainees continue to suffer from sexual assaults, substandard medical care, misuse of isolation, excessive use of force, abysmal conditions, and the lack of due process, legal counsel and meaningful oversight.

This report is part of a series of reports and a coordinated effort to highlight ten detention centers across the nation that sheds light on the appalling conditions immigrants in detention face, including Etowah County Detention Center (AL), Pinal County Jail (AZ), Houston Processing Center (TX), Polk County Detention Facility (TX), Stewart Detention Center (GA), Irwin County Jail (GA), Hudson County Jail (NJ), Theo Lacy Detention Center (CA), Tri-County Detention Center (IL), and Baker County Jail (FL).


Lack of Medical Care for Immigration Detainees Exposed

AI Justice published "Dying for Decent Care:  Bad Medicine in Immigration Custody," in 2009, exposing the systemic abuses and inhumane treatment of detainees nationwide. 


AI Justice Testifies to Congress on Prison Rape

Executive Director testified before Congress regarding sexual abuse of immigration detainees and served on the  National Prison Rape Elimination Commission's Immigration Detention Standards Committee in 2006, which drafted recommended standards to prevent and respond to sexual assault in immigration detention facilities.


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About Us:

AI Justice is an award-winning non-profit law and advocacy firm that protects and promotes the basic human rights of immigrants. In Florida and on a national level, we champion the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children; advocate for survivors of trafficking and domestic violence; serve as a watchdog on immigration detention practices and policies; and speak for immigrant groups who have particular and compelling claims to justice.