Legislation to Protect Immigrant Detainees Introduced in the House of Representatives
March 10th, 2009
In response to the numerous deaths and cases of abuse in immigrant detention centers across the nation, U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) has introduced the Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act of 2009 (H.R. 1215). This bill works to “better ensure immigrant detainees receive fair and humane treatment while in detention.”
The Immigration Oversight and Fairness Act seeks to:
- Improve detainees’ access to telephones and medical care, including treatment for survivors of sexual abuse
- Improve mental health care standards, which are critical for persons who have suffered persecution, torture, or other trauma
- Promotes alternatives to detention which enable detainees to be released on their own recognizance, bond, or other non-custodial supervision programs
- Provides protections for unaccompanied children taken into DHS custody.
The Oblate JPIC office supports this proposed legislation. Through a joint letter to Congress, we are joining other faith, human rights, civil liberties, immigrant and community organizations in urging Members to support this bill which would create enforceable and humane treatment standards for immigrants held in detention facilities.
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