Immigrants and refugees are diversifying and reviving rural America, yet the prevalence of immigration detention centers continues to create fear and harm in immigrant communities. According to a recent analysis by the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy, 52% of immigrant detainees in the country are being detained in rural areas, creating a burden for their families, many of whom are forced to travel hundreds of miles to see their loved ones. The isolation of these centers has also made it difficult for detainees to receive legal representation and language interpretation. Because of this, detained individuals in rural areas are denied asylum and deported to their countries of origin at much higher rates (87%) than detainees in urban areas (54%).
This phenomenon is not new. The perception that rural areas have cheap labor and cheap land contributed to the creation of hundreds of new prisons in rural parts of the country in the 1990s. In 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), alleging that the federal agency was deliberately detaining people in rural areas far from legal resources.
In this webinar session – a part of GCIR’s series on rural power building – we will explore how detention in rural areas is harming communities; challenges to obtaining legal representation; and how local, state, and national organizations are confronting the harmful impacts of immigration detention on communities across the country.
We invite you to view the video recordings and materials from the first two sessions of the rural power building series:
- Session 1: Building Immigrant & Worker Power in Rural America
- Session 2: Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Immigrant Workers in Rural Communities
- Liz Castillo, Organizing Manager, Detention Watch Network
- Sophia Genovese, Supervising Attorney & EJW Disaster Resilience Fellow, New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
- Amilcar Valencia, Executive Director, El Refugio
- Guadalupe Pimentel Solano, Director of Community Leadership and Equitable Initiatives, Central Indiana Community Foundation
Register by 5:00pm PT on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
Thank you for your interest in this program. GCIR's webinars and funder learning opportunities are made possible through the time and expertise of presenters from the field. In the spirit of transparency, GCIR will make available the list of webinar participants to presenters upon request, unless the registrant requests to remain anonymous (to register anonymously for this program uncheck the box "show in roster").