In the Media
August 24, 2012
GADSDEN, Ala. -- The serpentine Coosa River once brought people and goods aplenty to this pretty Southern town, known first for its riverboats and later for its rubber and steel plants. But those times are mostly a memory. The city has struggled since the 1980s. Plants shuttered, and industry moved abroad. Many jobs shifted into the service sector. Then, in the late 1990s, a tide of immigrants flowed into Gadsden, delivering an unlikely economic boost. The essential revenue they generated came not from their work in fields, factories or hotels, however, but from their presence in the county’s jail cells.
In the Media
August 21, 2012
Ivan Stobert was in many ways the ideal immigrant. In 2006, he traveled from Moldova to the United States on a visa. While here, he fell in love and in 2008 married a U.S. citizen. He became a permanent legal resident, bought a house in the Atlanta area and started a cleaning business. Ivan Stobert, a 25 year-old Moldovan national, speaks to his lawyer from his home in Atlanta. Despite holding a green card, he says he spent nearly a year in the Etowah County Detention Center last fall after accidentally checking the "U.S. citizen" box on a motorcycle license application. “Finally I made my dream,” Stobert told NBC News. “I buy my house, I have my business. I thought, ‘Wow, I love America!’” But the love affair ended in December 2010, when the slight 25-year-old found himself locked up indefinitely in the Etowah County Detention Center in northeast Alabama, charged with an aggravated felony and facing deportation.
News and Annoucements
“The Penalty is Exile,” is a special episode of " The Prison Radio Project" which airs on WGXC Community Radio Station in Hudson, NY. It features interviews with Families for Freedom and many of our allies and explores the history and current reality of immigration enforcement -- 400,000 immigrants are deported a year.
In the Media
August 01, 2012
If you watched the opening ceremony for the Olympic games in London, it was hard to miss the self-described “independent Olympians.” There were four of them: Guor Marial, Philipine van Aanholt, Reginald de Windt, and Lee-Marvin Bonevacia. In a celebration of international competition, their presence stood out because they were, in effect, stateless. A stateless person is broadly defined as someone without a nationality. Though the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has a right to a nationality, there are an estimated 12 million people worldwide who are stateless; some estimates say that the number is closer to 20 million. That number would be substantially higher if the United Nations also counted Palestinians, according to Sebastian Kohn, a program officer at the Open Society Institute.
News and Annoucements
On July 23rd Families for Freedom, Immigrant Defense Project, and New York University School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic released the report: Insecure Communities, Devastated Families: New Data on Immigrant Detention and Deportation Practices in New York City. In the wake of growing deportation programs such as the recently-activated “Secure Communities” initiative, this new report sheds light on the precise ways in which current detention and deportation practices are wreaking havoc on New York City immigrants and their communities. The deportation system is devastating families by not only threatening to exile their loved ones, but also often forcing immigrants to fight their cases for years while locked up in far-away immigration jails. To view some of the articles and videos that came out about the report click links
In the Media
July 29, 2012
New York, the quintessential immigrant city, is a friendly and safe place for its almost three million foreign born residents. Or is it? Only if you compare it to, say, Arizona. That’s what one can conclude after reading a report released on Monday by the Immigrant Defense Project and Families for Freedom in conjunction with the New York University School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic. “We now have hard evidence that ICE practices are terrorizing our city’s immigrant communities,” said Alisa Wellek, deputy director of the Immigrant Defense Project.

Widespread Denial of Justice for New Yorkers Facing Detention and Deportation, New Report Finds US Immigration Authorities Seen Terrorizing City’s Immigrant Community

Insecure Communities, Devastated Families: New Data on Immigrant Detention and Deportation Practices in New York City

New York City is home to over three million foreign-born residents. Yet, immigrant New Yorkers have been forced to struggle with the harsh realities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) operations in their city for years—families broken apart by midnight raids, parents of U.S. citizen children sent to far-away detention facilities in Texas and Louisiana and held without bond, immigrants arrested after a “stop-and-frisk” encounter with the NYPD, only to find themselves thrown into a pipeline that sends thousands of New Yorkers from Rikers Island to ICE detention every year. This report compiles comprehensive data obtained by a FOIA request filed by Families for Freedom and Immigrant Defense Project. It reveals the devastating affects that ICE's enforcement operations have had on the city and their widespread terrorization of immigrant communities.

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