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Immigrant Justice Groups Protest Reopening of Berks County ICE Jail

HeadlineAug 20, 2021

In Pennsylvania, human rights advocates protested Thursday against a vote to reopen a controversial jail for immigrant families.

Protesters: “Shut down Berks! Shut down Berks! Shut down Berks! Shut down Berks!”

The so-called Berks County Residential Center was closed in February when all of the immigrant families held there were freed. But Berks County commissioners voted Thursday to amend their contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and turn Berks into an “all women” immigration prison. One of those who spoke out against the vote was Adriana Zambrano with Aldea – The People’s Justice Center.

Adriana Zambrano: “Detaining immigrant women is just as wrong, unnecessary and dangerous as the detention of families. Immigrant detention, in every way, is also separation. Detention separates individuals from their families who are willing and able to take them into their home while their legal process moves along. It means separation from community, communities like ours, which are made better by the presence and by the investments of immigrants. Detention is also separation from access to critical services.”

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