• Petitioned Leonard M. Luciano

This petition was delivered to:

Freeholder, District 4
Leonard M. Luciano
Freeholder at Large
Patricia Sebold
Freeholder District 1
Rolando Bobadilla
Essex County Executive
Joe DiVincenzo
Freeholder District 2
D. Bilal Beasley
Freeholder, District 3
Carol Y. Clark
President, Board of Chosen Freeholders
Blonnie Watson
Freeholder at Large
Rufus I. Johnson
Clerk of the Board of Chosen Freeholders
Deborah Davis Ford
Freeholder District 5
Brendan Gil
Freeholder at Large
Gerald Owens

People, Not Profits! Stop the Expansion of Immigration Detention in New Jersey

    1. Kathy O'Leary
    2. Petition by

      Kathy O'Leary

      Gillette, NJ

Immigrants are not commodities.  Tell Essex County to storp treating the people in their custody like items on a balance sheet.  Tell them to stop profiting from immigration detention

For years, ICE has been using Essex County and the private for-profit company Community Education Centers (CEC) to detain 1250 immigrants in the Essex County Jail and the neighboring privately run Delaney Hall.  

It is not a coincidence that CEC has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Essex County politicians or that one of its primary lobbyists was Chris Christie or that Christie’s close friend and ally, Bill Palatucci who until recently was a Sr. VP for CEC.

Since its signing, Essex County officials have been celebrating the new contract because it raises revenues and despite a claim that the revenue will help lower property taxes, the property taxes in Essex County have continued to go up every year.  

This contract incarcerates long time Essex county residents with significant ties to the community and split apart local Essex county families.  Just over 23% of Essex County’s population is foreign born, according to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau.  Of this population, 71% have been in this country since before 2000 and 54% are not yet US Citizens. 

We the undersigned oppose the new ICE Contract in Essex County.  The Essex County Freeholders are treating immigrants as commodities, by trading their liberty for increased revenue for the county and wash their hands of any responsibility for oversight of the Essex County Jail.  However, credible complaints about inhumane conditions in the jail persist as well as inadequate access to clergy, family and lawyers.   

We the undersigned demand that the Essex County Freeholders revoke the contract with ICE and implement a community oversight board to work toward immediately improving conditions at the jail for immigrant detainees so as to include:

·        Visiting hours that include evenings and weekends

·        Contact visits for family members

·        No restrictions on visits, phone calls, and other contact with lawyers and clergy

·        Adequate mental and physical health care

·        Healthy food that complies with dietary restrictions and religious observances

·        Unrestricted access to communal religious services

·        Regular outdoor recreation free from exposure to hazardous environmental conditions

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Sandy Put ICE Detainees in Danger

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      Eunice Lee’s harrowing account (“Sandy trapped guards and staff at Essex County jail,” Dec. 9) of the conditions inside Essex County Correctional Facility and the damage sustained by the flooding during and after Hurricane Sandy, reminds us that it wasn’t a good idea to expand detention in New Jersey last year by adding 750 immigration detention beds to two facilities in Newark.
      http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2012/12/sandy_put_ice_detainees_in_dan.html

      Sandy put ICE detainees in danger: Opinion

      By Karina Wilkinson Eunice Lee's harrowing account ("Sandy trapped guards and staff at Essex County jail," Dec. 9) of the conditions inside Essex County Correctional Facility and the damage sustained by the flooding during and after Hurricane Sandy, reminds us that it wasn't a good idea to expand detention in New Jersey last year by adding 750 immigration detention beds to two facilities in Newark.

    2. Eni Entchev - Released from Delaney Hall Speaks in Front of Ellis Island

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      Eni Entchev came to the US legally with his father at the age of 2. At the end of last year after 18 years of trying to adjust their status their asylum claim was denied and ICE took them into custody. Eni and his father Atanas spent 65 days in immigration detention before they were let out because of another petition that was started on Change.org. Eni and his dad are continuing to remain active, to speak on their own behalf and for others. This video was taken on 2/22/12, Ash Wednesday, at the beginning of a 12 mile walk for justice for immigrants that took us from the footbridge to Ellis Island to the gates of the Elizabeth Detention Center and many sites of injustice in between.

    3. The Human Stories Behind the Immigration Detention Contract in EssexCounty

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      Since Essex County signed its contract with ICE to expand immigration detention to 1250 people this past fall, Essex County has been in the news. Not just for the shady back doors deals and political contributions from the private for-profit company that received the immigration detention subcontract but also for the suffering that this contract is causing to local residents and their families.

    4. For Sandals & Silver – 3rd Annual Pilgrimage from Ellis Island to the EDC

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      For Sandals & Silver
      “Because they hand over the just for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; they trample the heads of the destitute into the dust of the earth, and force the lowly out of the way. “ Amos 2: 6-7

      Beginning with a prayer service & press conference At 10:00 am at Freedom Way (Liberty State Park), Jersey City, NJ on Wednesday February 22nd

      Ending with a prayer service and distribution of ashes at the Gates of the Elizabeth Detention Center 625 Evans St., Elizabeth, NJ

      Join us as we walk 12 miles from the footbridge at Ellis Island (a powerful symbol of our nation’s history of welcoming immigrants), to the barbed wire fences at the gates of the Elizabeth Detention Center.

    5. NJ jail union head questioning federal immigration detention agreement

      Gabriela Garcia
      Petition Organizer

      THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

      NEWARK, N.J. — A union representing corrections officers at a New Jersey jail is criticizing an agreement between county and federal authorities to house one of the newest immigration detention facilities in the nation.

      Joe Amato, president of PBA Local 382 which represents officers at the Essex County Correctional Facility, says an agreement signed in December with Immigration and Customs Enforcement violates several clauses of the union's contract...

    6. Advocacy groups report on NJ immigrant detention

      Gabriela Garcia
      Petition Organizer

      NEWARK — Immigrant rights advocates issued a report this week questioning the process behind a recently awarded contract to expand immigration detention in New Jersey.

      Report authors from Pax Christi, Enlace and the Middlesex County Coalition for Immigrant Rights claim the Essex County freeholder board's decision to give the contract to a politically-connected firm was rife with pay-to-play violations, lobbying and "cronyism."...

    7. Immigrants are the 99%: Protestors Call out Essex County Freeholders

      Rachel LaBruyere
      Petition Organizer

      Update: From the AP today, "New Jersey officials are scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to approve a contract that would nearly double the number of immigrant detainees housed in the state." The Freeholders will vote tonight on the proposed...

    8. Action Needed - Freeholders To Vote on Immigration Detention for Profit

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      ****UPDATE****
      The Essex County freeholders have added the contract for immigration detention for-profit to the agenda for tomorrow night as an "action item". This means they can and likely will vote on this contract.
      *********************
      This Wednesday 12/14 at 7:00 pm in room 506 at the Hall of Records in Newark, NJ the Essex County Freeholders will again discuss the awarding of the sub-contract for immigration detention to the non-profit affiliate of Community Education Centers (CEC).

      AND AGAIN

      * We will have plenty of supporters of immigrant rights calling for an end to detention
      * John Clancy the CEO of CEC will be on hand
      * We will present the freeholders with hundreds more signatures on the petition to revoke the ICE contract.

      Please join us if you can this Wed 12/14 at 7:00 pm at The Hall of Records (465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd Room 506, Newark, NJ)

    9. Joe D. Parties with the 1% Including John Clancy, CEO of CEC

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      Essex County's holiday party was held recently at McLoone's Boathouse, a luxury restaurant and catering venue that Essex County just paid $4.3 million to build. Among the guests were Lt Governor Kim Guadagno who supported anti-immigrant policies while Sheriff of Monmouth County and John J. Clancy, CEO of Community Education Centers (CEC) whose company has donated $300,000 to Essex County politicians and was twice the sole bidder on the sub-contract for immigration detention in Essex County. Wonder how much of the money from the ICE contract was used for this little shindig.

    10. Occupy the Freeholders

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      Follow the link for the update on last Wednesday's action at the Essex County Freeholders. If you missed the drama on 12/7 you have another chance to join us at the Essex County Freeholders meeting on 12/14. We have good reason to believe that John Clancy the CEO of CEC will be there.

    11. Reached 3,000 signatures
    12. Money Can't Buy You Love, But Can it Buy an Immigration Detention Contract?

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      It is no secret that money, at least well placed money in the form of political contributions can influence the bidding process for public contracts. Perhaps that is why John Clancy the CEO of CEC and EHCA, the sole bidders yet again on the second round of bidding for an immigration detention sub-contract in Essex County, has donated so much to local Essex County politicians.

    13. Politically connected group remains only bidder to house immigrant detainee

      Rachel LaBruyere
      Petition Organizer

      It looks like the same politically connected group is the only bidder in a lucrative deal to house immigrant detainees in Essex County — again.

      Education and Health Centers of America was the only bidder to submit a proposal by the 11 a.m. deadline today, county spokesman Anthony Puglisi confirmed.

      This is Essex County's second search for a private facility to house some of the 1,250 detainees from Immigration and Customs Enforcement as detainees await hearings or deportation.

    14. Immigrants are part of the 99%

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      Wall Street Execs destroy the economy & get a bailout.
      Immigrants work hard & end up in jail.
      Immigrants are part of the 99%
      OCCUPY The Essex County Freeholders NO MORE Immigration Detention for-profit

    15. Unholy Alliance How the private prison industry is corrupting our democracy

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      The situation in Essex County made it into PICO's new report "Unholy Alliance How the private prison industry is corrupting our democracy and promoting mass incarceration" See page 12 for information about NJ's own Community Education Centers (CE) and its connections to Essex County Executive, Joe DiVincenzo and Chris Christie.

    16. Hundreds of new immigrants detained in Essex County, N.J., will have cases

      Rachel LaBruyere
      Petition Organizer

      This could further damage the rights of immigrant detainees if the Essex County bid moves forward.

      "A Georgetown Immigration Law Journal study of 2004 and 2005 asylum hearings found that immigrants with in-person hearings were nearly twice as likely to get asylum than those who had a hearing by video."

      Yet another reason to stand with Kathy and stop the expansion of inhumane policies in Essex County, New Jersey.

    17. NJ Residents Facing Deportation Face Uphill Legal Battle

      Gabriela Garcia
      Petition Organizer

      The woman started to sob halfway through her story.
      She had moved to Jersey City from the Philippines to get married, but the relationship quickly turned abusive. She fled her husband, but now faces a new problem.
      Because her husband never helped update her immigration paperwork, by law she’s in the country illegally and can be deported if caught by authorities. Frightened, she called a hotline at the American Friends Services Committee in Newark. A lawyer, Amelia Wilson, listened patiently and offered advice. But after the call, she was not optimistic...

    18. Essex County Re-Issues Bid for Sub-Contractor to Detain Immigrants

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      Today the Essex County Executive's Office re-issued a bid for the sub-contract to detain immigrants as part of an agreement with ICE. The first go round came under intense scrutiny from advocates and other lawmakers including Senator Frank Lautenberg. It is apparent to anyone who knows anything about this issue that humane treatment is not a given in Essex County or anywhere else that immigrants are being held on behalf of ICE in the United States. The members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders need to do more to ensure that the rights of those in their custody are not being violated and that includes thoroughly vetting sub-contractors like CEC.

    19. "Please we need help from each & every one of you"

      K O
      by K O
      Petition Organizer

      "Please we need help from each & every one of you." That is what the sister of a man held at Delaney Hall a for-profit immigration detention center in Essex County said. We met her on October 9th outside of Delaney Hall, the for-profit correctional facility that is housing ICE detainees as part of a deal with Essex County. She waited an hour and a half to see her brother only to be turned away. With tears in her eyes she told us how badly her brother was being treated. All she asked was that he be treated humanely.

      Please watch the video & then ask your friends to sign the petition to revoke the ICE contract in Essex County

    20. Reached 2,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • airika hartzog WINNETKA, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      I have a family memeber in immigration and they treat people so unfair!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Aisha Oliver ASTORIA, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      It's important cause I have a loved one being detained and he should be with his family.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kateadra Paul GARFIELD, NJ
      • over 1 year ago

      IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE THET ARE TRYING TODEPORT MY HUSBAD AND WE HAVE THREE DAUGHTERS TOGETHER,16, 5,AND 8 MONTHS. EVERY DAY I HAVE TO ANSWER THE QUESTION OF WHEN DADDY'S COMING HOME. HE WAS THE PRIMARY BREAD WINNER AND THE LOVE OF MY LIFE. DEPORTING HIM WILL TEAR MY FAMILY APART!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sherry Tulej UTICA, NY
      • almost 2 years ago

      I have a son-in -law that is illegal and we need some help to keep him here in the US. He has a 18 month old baby girl that needs him

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Gerardo Galan CHICAGO, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      Immigrants who are not legalized are not committing a violent crime, and ICE has a very well documented history of apprehending non violent offenders, denying inmates basic civil rights, abusing inmates, working closely with corporations that abuse immigrants and mishandling funds for personal gain. Expanding into new detention centers propagates this disturbing trend at the cost of human suffering. This must end.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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